2022 Race

Electoral projections remain stable, with Lula in the lead

polls brazil
Anti-Bolsonaro protesters in Bahia. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

The first opinion poll of Brazil’s election year brought little change to the political scenario. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the center-left former president who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, still leads the race with 45 percent — 22 percentage points ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, his closest opponent.

While Lula has been trending down since November, pollster Quaest has consistently put him in the mid-40 percent of voting intentions. President Bolsonaro, on the other hand, has dropped from 28 to 23 percent between July 2021 and now. Half of the voters disapprove of his government, making him the least popular incumbent heading into a reelection campaign in Brazilian democratic history.

  • Lula: The former president has risen in spontaneous polls — when voters have to pick someone without first being shown a list of candidates — with 27 percent, 11 percentage points more than Mr. Bolsonaro. These surveys usually show consolidated support.
  • Bolsonaro: The president is slightly improving his popularity among some voter niches, with rejection among beneficiaries from federal cash handouts dropping 10 points to 53 percent. Mr. Bolsonaro continues to be more popular among men, who also tend to be more optimistic about Brazil’s economic outlook.

Meanwhile, former Justice Minister Sergio Moro seems to have consolidated himself as the third force in the race. He has 9 percent of voting intentions, above former center-left lawmaker Ciro Gomes’s 5 percent. Mr. Moro has tried to lure supporters from traditionally pro-Bolsonaro constituencies to beat the president for a spot in a runoff against Lula.