A new poll by Genial/Quaest suggests that President Jair Bolsonaro is going through his worst political moment, less than a year before he stands for re-election. For the first time ever, his popularity has dipped below the 20-percent mark — and his net approval ratings are negative in almost every cluster analyzed.
The sole exception is among those who voted for him in 2018, but even they are becoming warier of the president. In August, 52 percent of his voters approved of his administration, against 39 percent now.
As we explained in a podcast episode early in October, the reason for voter disgruntlement is the deterioration of economic conditions. According to the poll, half of the electorate mentions the economy as Brazil’s most pressing issue — way above the pandemic (17%), social issues (13%), and corruption (9%). Earlier today, the government’s official statistics agency showed that inflation continues to grow and sits at 10.67 percent over the last 12 months.
Besides Brazilians’ growing pessimism about the economy, the president will have to battle increased competition for the conservative vote in 2022. Sergio Moro, a former federal judge who served under Mr. Bolsonaro’s cabinet as Justice Minister, is polling third for 2022 — and is set to announce his presidential bid soon.