By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The controversial right-wing presidential candidate in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, continues to hold a wide lead over his leftist rival Fernando Haddad. In the second poll for the October 28th runoff from Ibope, Bolsonaro has 59 percent of voter intentions while Haddad has 41 percent.
In addition to voter intentions, Ibope also asked participants which candidate would best represent the interests of ten different sectors, including the wealthy, agriculture, entrepreneurs, the banking industry, the environment, retirees, young people, the working class, poor, and women.
A resounding 65 percent of participants thought that Bolsonaro, often labelled as Brazil’s version of Donald Trump, or “Tropical Trump,” would better represent the interests of the wealthy. Only 22 percent of participants chose Haddad.
The far-right lawmaker was also chosen as the more effective advocate for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 (fifty percent to 39 percent), the banking industry (54 percent to 28 percent), and entrepreneurs (65 percent to 23 percent).
On the other end of the political spectrum, fifty percent of poll participants considered Haddad, the hand-picked successor of imprisoned ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula), the better representative of the poor compared to only 38 percent who chose Bolsonaro.
Participants also believed Haddad would better represent the interests of the working-class (47 percent to 42 percent), retirees (44 percent to 39 percent), and women (48 percent to 37 percent).
With a margin of error of two percent, the two candidates tied as to who better represents the interests of the agriculture industry (Bolsonaro, 42 percent; Haddad, forty percent) and the environment (Bolsonaro, forty percent; Haddad, 39 percent). Ibope interviewed 2,506 people for the poll which was sponsored by TV Globo and the newspaper “O Estado de S. Paulo.”
In analysis by Carlos Caicedo, IHS Markit Associate Director, Latin America Country Risk, “Polls for Brazil’s October general election indicate greater political polarization and the highest risk of a move to the political extremes since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985.”
“Despite Brazil emerging from recession, the outgoing administration is unpopular, with widespread past corruption within mainstream parties giving momentum to more radical components of the political spectrum. […] There is also greater risk of failure to complete essential changes to the country’s pension system and to reduce its fiscal deficit.”
Bolsonaro and Haddad will go head-to-head in the second round runoff to decide Brazil’s next president on Sunday, October 28th. In the first round, on Sunday, October 7th, Bolsonaro led the field with 46 percent of the vote followed by Haddad with 29 percent.