At this stage in Brazil’s election cycle, President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating is more significant than her standing in relation to other candidates - and it appears to be declining. A Datafolha poll published on 4 April showed Rousseff with 38% of voter intentions, down from 44% in February. Her likely rivals - Aécio Neves, on 16%, and Eduardo Campos, on 10% - appear a long way behind because they lack name recognition outside of their parties and states (42% said they had not heard of Campos, for example), but this will change on 6 July when the campaign officially begins and political ads are allowed. On 8 April those within the ruling Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) hoping the fall in support for Rousseff would result in a return of her popular predecessor Lula da Silva (2003- 2010), had their hopes dashed when he categorically ruled himself out of running this year.

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