A new PoderData poll released on Wednesday shows former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and incumbent Jair Bolsonaro separated by a mere 5 points, with Lula holding a 40-35 lead.
Mr. Bolsonaro has gained ground since the turn of the year, when his recent social policies to benefit the poor began bearing fruit. He also benefited from his former Justice Minister Sergio Moro dropping out of the race.
Lula had a lead of more than 20 points at the beginning of the year. The race got tighter as Mr. Bolsonaro started winning back young male voters. The president is just 2 points behind among voters aged 16 to 24 (down from 22 points on March 30). Among voters aged 25 to 44, a 51-29 Lula lead turned into a 39-38 Bolsonaro lead.
As we explained in our Brazil Daily newsletter, Mr. Bolsonaro’s entourage is confident that he will be able to win the race in October — thanks to a heavy dose of economic stimulus and an even bigger dose of culture wars. Last week, Lula defended abortion rights — which Mr. Bolsonaro responded by calling him a “genocide of innocent people.”
Mr. Bolsonaro still trails in the South and Southeast — two regions that lean conservative and massively supported him in 2018 — which suggests his growth potential has not yet been exhausted.