Although Rousseff has been helped in the Petrobras debacle by her reputation as a "clean" politician, her popularity has also been hit by her perceived mishandling of the economy.
Economic growth has slowed sharply during her time at the helm and it is unclear whether she will push ahead with the fiscal and monetary tightening measures viewed as necessary to stabilize economic sentiment and high inflation. Annual gross domestic product growth in the country has slowed from 7.5 percent in 2010 to 0.1 percent in 2014, while inflation has risen from 5.9 percent to 6.4 percent over the same period.
"The plan is probably to follow the usual political cycle: tighten in the next couple of years, to create space to ease ahead of the next elections in 2018. However, it's unclear how much pain the government will be able to take farther down the line, once the tightening really starts to be felt by the population and gets compounded by rising inflation and much weaker currency," said Chandler.
In some ways, Rousseff has been unlucky, taking office just before the commodity boom ended, and with it, Brazil's rapid consumption-based growth.
However, the center-left politician has also been accused of failing to hem in the overexpansion of the public sector and its growing interference in business.