Brazil’s Lula Maintains 12-Point Lead Over Bolsonaro

Both candidates have increased their support by one percentage point, with the former president with 45% of voters’ intentions, while Jair Bolsonaro has 33%, according to a Genial/Quaest poll

Jair Bolsonaro (left) is seeking reelection in October elections, but trails former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (right) in the polls
August 17, 2022 | 11:59 AM

Bloomberg Línea — Brazil’s presidential race remains stable in terms of voter intentions, with former president, left-wing Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, maintaining a 12-point lead over President Jair Bolsonaro, according to a Genial/Quaest survey published on Wednesday.

The poll gives Lula 45% of voting intentions and the president 33%. Both have increased one percentage point in relation to the last poll, released two weeks ago.

The election is scheduled for October 2.

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Following the two leaders are Ciro Gomes, with 6%, and Simone Tebet, with 3%, and support for whom has also increased by one point since the last poll.

Congress member André Janones, who had been tied with Tebet, has withdrawn his candidacy and thrown his support behind Lula.

Wednesday’s poll sought to assess the impact of the ‘Auxílio Brasil’, Bolsonaro’s aid package for families, which has been increased from 400 to 600 reais ($116), and which began to be distributed on August 8, on support for Bolsonaro.

Since then, according to Quaest, support for the government has remained stable: 39% of those interviewed who receive the benefit have a negative evaluation of the government, the same figure as two weeks ago. And among those who do not receive the benefit, the negative assessment fell from 44% to 42%.

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Nevertheless, Lula remains the favorite among voters who receive the subsidy. Two weeks ago, he had 52% of voter preference from within this segment. Now he has 57%.

Bolsonaro’s support dropped from 29% to 27% among people receiving the benefit package.

However, support for Bolsonaro grew among those who do not receive the money, up from 34% to 37%, while support for Lula among that segment dropped from 41% to 40%.

The increase in the amount of money offered by ‘the Auxilio Brazil’ package was approved through a constitutional amendment that allowed the federal government to increase its spending in the election year.

Besides this, a gas voucher and a 1,000-reais benefit for taxi and truck drivers were approved and will start to be paid this week. The total cost of the measures was calculated at 41.2 billion reais ($7.96 billion).

The government’s argument is that the expenditure was necessary to face the “state of emergency” caused by the “extraordinary and unpredictable rise in oil prices, fuels and their derivatives.

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According to the Quaest survey released on Wednesday, however, 62% of respondents consider that the measures are primarily aimed at boosting Bolsonaro’s chances of reelection, while only 33% believe that they are intended to help people.

According to the text of the constitutional amendment, the benefits will only last until December 31 of this year.

However, both Bolsonaro and Lula have promised to keep the Auxilio Brasil payments at 600 reais for next year - although the government has sent to Congress a budget bill for 2023 that proposes a payment of 400 reais.

The package seems to have served to improve the president’s image in some segments.

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The negative assessment of the government among those who earn up to two minimum wages has been dropping since last month, and reached its lowest level in Wednesday’s survey: 41%.

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The positive assessment, on the other hand, went from 24% to 25% in this segment, over the past two weeks.

Bolsonaro also gained ground among evangelical voters, where he was already a favorite. He went from 48% to 52% of voter intentions since the last poll, while Lula remained at 28%.

Since March, the president’s support among evangelicals has increased by 17 points. Among Catholics, Lula has the advantage, with 51%, against 27% for Bolsonaro.

The survey interviewed 2,000 people in 120 municipalities between August 11 and 14. The margin of error is two percentage points, and the confidence index is 95%.

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