Brazil’s election surprises world media

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  • October 6, 2010

By Maira Magro

The incumbent Workers’ Party was expected by many to win last Sunday’s election (Oct. 3) in the first round. A runoff is scheduled for Oct. 31, and media around the world are asking, what might happen next?

Some foreign media, having trusted predictions by polls and pundits, prematurely “elected” Workers’ Party candidate Dilma Rousseff, who, in fact, will face José Serra of the opposition. Brazil’s O Globo notes that leading newspapers in Ecuador—El Telégrafo and El Universo—reported the victory of Dilma Rousseff, basing it on early vote counts.

On Sept. 30, The Wall Street Journal's headline predicted, “Ex-Guerrilla on Cusp of Power in Brazil.” Even Britain’s The Economist published a photo of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva hoisting Dilma’s hand in a pose of victory, under the headline “The Handover.” Spain’s El País also predicted Roussef’s victory as a given but said a second round was possible.

Ahead of the runoff, The New York Times still believes that Roussef will win, led by " a wave of prosperity" and Lula’s high popularity, nearing 80 percent.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.