World Bulletin/News Desk
With less than two weeks until Brazilians head back to the polls to vote for a president, the two remaining candidates remain technically tied, a major poll revealed Wednesday.
The results of the latest poll by Datafolha show that if the elections were held now, 51 percent would be in favor of center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party candidate Aécio Neves, while 49 percent would back leftist Workers' Party candidate President Dilma Rousseff.
This results, which considers only valid votes and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, means the two candidates are in a technical tie.
Considering all poll responses, 45 percent opted for Neves and 43 percent for Rousseff, while 6 percent answered that they would spoil or void their ballot and 6 percent remain undecided.
The polling company asked 9,081 eligible voters in 366 municipalities across the country Tuesday and Wednesday.
Datafolha Director-General Mauro Paulino said that in spite of a number of factors which could have swayed voters' opinions -- including Tuesday's first televised clash between the candidates and more revelations about the involvement of Rousseff-aligned politicians in a major kickback scheme at state-run oil giant Petrobras -- the polls have remained surprisingly stable.
"There is a considerable stability to the polls ... despite the Petrobras scandal, public support for Aécio Neves from (third-place candidate) Marina Silva and the family of the (late presidential candidate) Eduardo Campos, and the renewed free political advertising on national public TV and radio ... apparently it hasn't made much difference," Paulino said.
"People appear to have already made their decision, and these points have only gone to reinforce people's choices," the Datafolha boss continued.
Many of Silva's followers are thought to have sided with Neves, but Paulino said he would watch Rio de Janeiro state, where the pollster's preliminary data shows her followers will likely back Rousseff, who is seeking a second four-year term in office.
Political scientist Carlos Pereira told TV Folha that the poll showed just how polarized Brazil is over its final choice for president.
"The stability seen in this latest poll goes to show how very divided the country is. One side is anchored deeply in the idea of social inclusion, whereas the other is concerned by the state of the economy," explained Pereira, a professor at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas private university in Rio de Janeiro.
"It shows the difficulty for those voters looking for a single candidate capable of covering both these areas."
The Datafolha poll also asked voters who they would definitely vote for -- 42 percent for both candidates -- and which candidate would never get their vote. Rousseff saw her rejection rate drop by one point from the previous poll to 42 percent, but Neves' rose by four points to 38 percent.
Brazilians will go back to the polls Oct. 26 to cast their votes for president, as well as any state governors not elected in the first round of voting.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 10:31