Brazil's President Rousseff sees popularity drop to new low

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 01, 2015 11:14 AM

By Maria Carolina Marcello and Asher Levine

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The popularity of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's government fell to a new low, driven by a deteriorating economy, higher interest rates and a widening corruption scandal tarnishing her political party, a nationwide poll showed on Wednesday.

The number of Brazilians considering Rousseff's government "great" or "good" dropped to just 9 percent from 12 percent three months ago, according to the Ibope opinion poll commissioned by the National Industry Confederation, or CNI.

It was the lowest approval rating seen by a Brazilian president since November 1989, when Jose Sarney led the nation through a period of economic chaos and hyperinflation.

Survey participants cited the corruption investigation at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, as the top news story influencing their view. The scandal has involved members of Rousseff's Workers' Party, among other politicians and executives.

Rising unemployment and a shrinking economy have impacted Rousseff's main support base of poor and working-class Brazilians, who demonstrated the biggest downward shift in opinion among the range of demographics surveyed in the poll.

Confidence in the president fell to 34 percent from 42 percent among those who voted for her, the poll showed.

As a whole, 68 percent of the population rate Rousseff's government as "bad" or "terrible," up from 64 percent in March, while disapproval of the way Rousseff governs rose to 83 percent from 78 percent.

21 percent of those surveyed rated her government as "fair."

The poll of 2,002 people was conducted between June 18 and 21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

(Editing by W Simon)