2022 Race

New Datafolha polls shows stability in presidential race

New Datafolha polls shows stability in presidential race
Former President Lula would win the presidency for a third time, in a first-round landslide, if the election were today. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/PR

The landscape of Brazil’s 2022 presidential election hasn’t changed over the past month, according to the latest poll by Datafolha, Brazil’s most renowned pollster.

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is 19 points ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, but his lead over Mr. Bolsonaro has been trimmed, albeit within the confidence interval.

Datafolha gives Lula 47 percent of voting intentions against Mr. Bolsonaro’s 28 percent. For the center-left former president, a first-round win is still a real possibility.

In May, Lula polled at 48 percent, with all other candidates combining for 40 percent. Now, Lula’s adversaries combine for 41 percent. If the elections were today, Lula would win in a first-round landslide.

It is uncertain how (or whether) the arrest of a former cabinet minister for his alleged involvement in corruption schemes impacted voters, as pollsters began interviews on Wednesday — the same day federal marshals took former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro into custody. 

The silver lining for Mr. Bolsonaro, if there is one, is that his numbers improved in spontaneous polls (from 22 to 25 percent). These polls ask voters to make their choice without showing them a list of candidates first — and are regarded as snapshots of consolidated support.  

The president has 101 days until Election Day to change his fortunes. That will be an uphill battle, considering that inflation continues in the double digits, poverty continues to climb, and wages are stagnant. Mr. Bolsonaro is polling better among men (36 percent) and higher-income voters (47 percent). 

President Bolsonaro has repeatedly threatened not to accept electoral results if they don’t go his way. For years, he has sowed doubt about the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system, even without offering any shred of evidence that electronic voting machines could be compromised.

In fact, he has admitted having no evidence at all.