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Popularity rating of Brazil president plummets

Tuesday - 7/16/2013, 3:09pm  ET

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, left, receives Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, as she arrives for the Mercosur trade bloc summit in Montevideo, Uruguay, Friday, July 12, 2013. Paraguay is expected to be readmitted into the bloc after member nations suspended its membership last year for having impeached and ousted President Fernando Lugo. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

MARCO SIBAJA
Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- The personal popularity of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has suffered another hit after massive protests swept Brazil last month, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.

The National Transport Confederation poll showed Rousseff's approval rating plummeted from 73.7 percent in June to 49.3 percent in July.

The MDA polling institute conducted the survey for the group, which represents private transportation businesses. The poll questioned 2,002 people between July 7 and 10 and has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

It is the second poll that shows a sharp drop in Rousseff's popularity since the protests began.

Last month, the Datafolha polling institute said 30 percent of respondents rated Rousseff's government as "great/good" compared to 57 percent who gave it that rating before the demonstrations began. Datafolha surveyed 4,717 people on June 27 and 28. Its poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

The nationwide protests first targeted transportation fare increases but quickly expanded to a variety of causes including government corruption, high taxes, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent for next year's World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The latest poll also showed a sharp drop in the public's approval of Rousseff's administration, said Clesio Andrade, the confederation's president.

He said the survey showed a "generalized dissatisfaction" with Brazilian politicians -- state governors, mayors, senators and congressmen.

The Rousseff government's approval hit its lowest levels since she took office in 2011.

Of those surveyed, 31.3 percent said they approved of her government compared to 54.2 percent in June.

Despite the drop in her popularity ratings, the latest poll showed Rousseff would still win re-election in the 2014 presidential elections. But it would be in a second round of voting since the numbers show she would not win the absolute majority needed to avoid a runoff.

If the elections were to be held today, Rousseff would get 33.4 percent of the vote, while former Environment Minister Marina Silva would win 20.7 percent.


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