Three months before the elections in Brazil, former president Lula da Silva dominates the polls, while President Jair Bolsonaro adds scandals and bets on new subsidies to leverage his re-election.
Brazilians will go to the polls on October 2 and the country is already immersed in an early campaign, with a clear advantage in the polls for Lula, who has about 48% of the intention to vote compared to 30% attributes to Bolsonaro.
With a voter registry that will have some 150 million voters this year, Lula’s advantage is now approaching 30 million votes, with a trend that has been consolidated for more than a year in all the polls.
Six of the ten polls released in the last fifteen days agreed that the progressive candidate could even win in the first round with just over 50%, which has triggered all the alarms in the campaign of the far-right leader.
With 12% inflation, 10% unemployment, 33 million people going hungry, a pandemic that has not yet been overcome and that Bolsonaro minimizes to this day despite the fact that it has already killed almost 670,000 Brazilians, the country’s own situation is already he would be a stumbling block for the Army Reserve captain.
But to this are added some serious allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Education and the resignation, after accusations of sexual harassment made by officials of the entity itself, of the president of a state bank very close to the ruler.
Bolsonaro has responded to these recent scandals with silence, but at the same time he has mobilized his parliamentary base so that the country is declared in a “state of emergency”, already endorsed by the Senate and that can be approved next week by the Chamber of Deputies.
That would allow the Government to launch a new package of subsidies for the poorest without violating electoral legislation, which in normal circumstances prevents measures of this nature during the six months prior to an election.
This Saturday, three months before the elections, Bolsonaro and Lula participated in two events in the city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, on the occasion of a regional patriotic festival.
Bolsonaro led a motorcycle ride followed by thousands of people along an avenue that borders the beaches of the most affluent areas of Salvador, after which he once again highlighted his differences with Lula.
“Brazil today has a Christian president, who believes in God and values the family,” said the president, to emphasize that these are “values” rejected by “communism” that blames the progressive leader.
Lula, for his part, gathered thousands of followers in a popular neighborhood, where he insisted that next October Brazilians “will defeat fascism, defeat hate to give love and defeat weapons to create libraries.”
According to Lula, Brazilians “are going to survive the policies of mass destruction imposed by this government,” which “has paid little attention to the pandemic, led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, and has a president who was not capable of shed a single tear” for that.
The progressive leader concluded his speech with some verses from the anthem of Bahia, which he said citizens should remember on October 2: “Never again will despotism govern our actions. Tyrants do not match Brazilian hearts.”
Also this Saturday, for the festivities in Bahia, two of the candidates who are trying to break the polarization between Lula and Bolsonaro met in Salvador: the Labor Party member Ciro Gomes and the Conservative Simone Tebet.
According to the polls, none of them have any chance of even reaching a possible second round. Gomes’ voting intentions are around 8%, while Tebet has not yet managed to overcome the 2% barrier.