Black and poor women may decide who will be the next president of Brazil.
A new survey of the election prospects of female candidates reveals they had higher odds of winning than white men—a situation that may mean poor candidates have a better chance than they think.
Brazil has the largest number of female candidates running for seats in the legislature. In the November 9 primary election, a record 1,853 women sought the presidency—up more than 5-1 from 2010, the last time the number of contenders surpassed 1,000.
As Brazilians prepare to elect their next president, many wonder if the country’s demographics will help to shape who gets elected. But the survey questions did not clearly ask if the women running for president were poor.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Brazil’s population in 2014 was home to the sixth largest number of indigenous people among the Americas.
The government’s statistics bureau, IBGE, estimated that in 2014, just 4 percent of the country’s population were indigenous. And though more than 50 percent of the population is white, about a quarter are black Brazilians. Brazil’s rich black community is not as likely to vote for progressive candidates as is the case with indigenous Brazilians.
The new survey, which is part of a larger research experiment conducted by the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, or UFS, and a professor at Université Laval, asked 2,200 people questions that asked about their economic standing and their political preferences.
The results indicated that black women were the most likely to run for president. Though the questions posed to them did not explicitly ask if they were poor, the results showed that women of color were more likely to have higher incomes and to not make enough money to qualify as homeless.
The results, combined with the fact that black women are more likely to be in poverty or live in a state with high rates of violence