Bolsonaro’s Handouts Don’t Work: Lula Has Twice as Many Votes Among Aid Recipients

President Jair Bolsonaro’s decision to boost monthly stipends to about 18 million poor Brazilian families is failing to boost his re-election chance

Despite a huge program to hand monthly stipends, most Brazilians still blame the country’s economic woes on the incumbent candidate in the upcoming election, Jair Bolsonaro.
By Simone Iglesias
September 14, 2022 | 09:32 AM
Reading time: 1 min.

Bloomberg — President Jair Bolsonaro’s decision to boost monthly stipends to about 18 million poor Brazilian families is failing to boost his re-election chance.

The incumbent is trailing his main rival, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, by at least 11 percentage points in the latest three opinion polls released since Friday. Ironically, those who receive Bolsonaro’s cash handouts are more than twice as much likely to vote for his leftist challenger, according to an Ipec survey released late on Monday.

Big Distance | Lula has twice as much support as Bolsonaro among cash aid recipientsdfd

Bolsonaro’s main bet to win the vote of the most vulnerable -- about one-third the country’s 210 million population -- was to boost monthly payments through his signature Auxilio Brasil program. Starting in August, the handouts were temporarily increased to 600 reais from 400 reais at an additional cost of 21.5 billion reais ($4.2 billion) to public coffers.

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Yet most Brazilians still blame the country’s economic woes on the incumbent. Inflation of more than 8% a year weigh more heavily on the poorest, who spend almost a third of their budget on food.

Unlike Lula, Bolsonaro isn’t seen as sincerely engaged in helping the poor, according to Creomar de Souza, chief executive officer at Dharma Political Risk and Strategy, a Brasilia-based consultancy.

“There is a very resilient affective memory of the inclusion programs carried out by Lula and Dilma Rousseff,” he said.

Read more at Bloomberg.com