3. Silva lacked the resources of the PT and the PSDB.
Though it offered more institutional support than the Green Party in 2010, the Brazilian Socialist Party faded in contrast to the funding and power of Brazil’s two leading parties, Rousseff’s center-left, governing Workers Party and Neves’s center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). The two parties controlled 13 governorships among Brazil’s 26 states and federal district going into Sunday’s general election, and they constitute two of the three largest parties in Brazil’s National Congress.
Moreover, both Rousseff and Neves had the support of a handful of leading regional and other shape-shifting parties in Brazilian politics. Most importantly, Rousseff, like Lula da Silva before her (and the PSDB, when it was last in power) benefitted from the institutional support of the amorphous Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which formed to promote democracy during Brazil’s 1964-85 military dictatorship and now exists as a non-ideological amoeba most attuned to maintaining a foothold in Brazil’s power structure.
Though the Brazilian Socialists were probably helpful in boosting Silva to victory in Pernambuco (one of two states that Silva won, along with Acre in the northwest), where Campos served as governor until earlier this spring, the party didn’t have the kind of infrastructure or machine that could reasonably compete with either the PT or the PSDB.
4. Silva didn’t maximize her support among Afro-Brazilians.
In contrast to Barack Obama, who depended on the backing of African-Americans for his historic 2008 presidential election (and even more in his 2012 reelection), Reuters’s Brian Winter reported earlier this week that Silva trailed among Afro-Brazilian voters, noting that it was a missed opportunity for Silva to appeal to working-class and poorer voters:
Brazilians overwhelmingly shy away from speaking about race, preferring to speak in terms of class instead. Over the centuries, more than 10 times as many African slaves were brought to Brazil than to the United States. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish the practice, in 1888. Today, blacks are more than three times as likely as whites to suffer from extreme poverty.
Asked in an interview with Reuters last week what it would mean to be Brazil’s first black president, Silva replied: “Not just (that) … I’d also be the first environmentalist. I’m very proud of my identity as a black woman,” she continued. “But I don’t make political use of my faith, or my color. I’m going to govern for blacks, whites, (Asians), believers, non-believers, independent of their color or social conditions.”
Silva’s strongest supporters in the 2010 election were urban, upwardly mobile professionals — she won the Distrito Federal (Federal District) in 2010 (though Neves narrowly defeated her there in the 2014 race).
5. Evangelicals just don’t constitute a majority in Brazil.
via Five Reasons Why Brazil’s One-time Frontrunner Marina Silva Tanked | Kevin A. Lees.