Brazil’s Cautious Voters

Brazil's presidential election has come alive as the mixed-race Marina Silva mounts a serious challenge to President Dilma Rousseff. But, despite Brazil's economic troubles, corruption scandals, and recent World Cup humiliation, Rousseff's incumbency advantage is likely to be decisive.

MEXICO CITY – Brazil has been in the global spotlight this year, and not always for the right reasons. Following the 2013 riots over the amount of money being spent on the 2014 soccer World Cup, protests continued up to, and even during, the tournament in June. There were dire – though ultimately misplaced – predictions about chaotic conditions for participants, and then, of course, the catastrophic performance of the home team.

Now, the costs of the soccer jamboree, coming on top of the country’s ongoing economic slowdown, are coming home to roost. Several analysts have concluded that Brazil’s bubble has burst, and that the so-called “country of the future” will remain stuck in the present.

Economic uncertainty is also dramatically affecting Brazilian politics. And a once placid, even predictable, presidential election campaign has been thrown into disarray by the death of the Brazilian Socialist Party candidate, Eduardo Campos, in an airplane crash in August.

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