2022 Race

Datafolha poll shows possibility of Lula first-round win

Datafolha poll shows possibility of Lula first-round win
Anti-Bolsonaro demonstration in Salvador. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is polling 21 points ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro — and a first-round win seems within his reach, according to Datafolha, Brazil’s most renowned pollster. 

Lula currently has 48 percent of voting intentions, while all other candidates combine for 40 percent. Mr. Bolsonaro is in second with 27 percent, while center-left Ciro Gomes — heading to his fourth presidential race — comes in third with 7 percent.

The poll, arguably the most anticipated presidential survey in weeks, comes two months after Datafolha’s last presidential survey. It is not fully comparable to Datafolha’s previous polls, as it considers different lists of candidates — removing names who have dropped out of the race, such as former Justice Minister Sergio Moro and former São Paulo Governor João Doria.

In the Northeast, a traditional stronghold of the center-left Workers’ Party, Lula has a whopping 62-17 lead over Mr. Bolsonaro.

Multiple polls have shown a recent surge for Mr. Bolsonaro, putting the incumbent in the low 30s and having Lula oscillate between the low-to-mid-40s. Datafolha, however, shows a much more comfortable lead for the former two-term president, who oversaw an era of economic prosperity in the country.

But one must remember that the elections are four months away — and a lot can happen until October 2.

Still, Mr. Bolsonaro has had his re-election prospects hurt by rampant inflation, which reached a 19-year high in April. Salaries, meanwhile, have stagnated, and the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly in the double digits. 

The incumbent president has threatened not to accept electoral results if they don’t go his way. For years, he has called into question the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system, but hasn’t offered any shred of evidence that electronic voting machines could be compromised. 

Many believe that a first-round landslide by Lula would clobber Mr. Bolsonaro’s chances of successfully challenging the electoral process.