The president of the PT party (Worker's Party), Rui Falcão, caused controversy when he affirmed that the Brazilian people were more concerned with the Olympics and the soap opera Avenida Brasil than with the trial of the "Mensalão" scandal by the Supreme Federal Court. The "Mensalão" scandal, was a corruption scheme in which, supposedly, parliamentarians were corrupted to support the government in return for money in the form of "monthly allowances".
An opinion poll held by Datafolha on Thursday, supports Falcão’s statement. Half of the respondents said that the trial will have no influence in shaping their vote in the elections for mayor this year. For the 41% of the respondents who said that the trial’s outcome will influence their vote in the elections, the measure of how much impact the trial will have, effectively is divided: some say a large (21%) influence and others small (20%).
The opinion poll also measured the level of information and awareness that the population has in relation to the trial. The majority of respondents (81%) say they are aware of the “Mensalão” scandal, which is natural due to the volume of information about the case in the electronic media. However only 18% of respondents feel they are well informed about what is at stake.
The poll also reveals the majority of the people that were questioned want the conviction of the main defendants, but only 11% believe they will face jail time, even for a short period of time. The Datafolha Institute interviewed 2,562 people last Thursday. The poll’s margin of error is two percentage points.