Brazilian voters who rate the Jair Bolsonaro administration as great or good climbed from 29 to 38 percent over the past three weeks, according to a new poll released Monday by Ipec. Over the same period, those who rate the government as bad or terrible fell from 47 to 41 percent.
Ipec also released its second simulation of the October 30 runoff between the president and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president who finished the first round ahead. Lula appears with the same 55 percent of voting intentions he had last week, with Mr. Bolsonaro ten points behind.
Despite appearing behind Lula, the Ipec poll brings several silver linings for the president. Besides a lower rejection rate of his administration, Mr. Bolsonaro has seen his “spontaneous” polling numbers (when voters are asked to say who they vote for without having a list of candidates before them) go from 40 to 42 percent.
Spontaneous polls are seen as a gauge of consolidated support. Lula’s spontaneous polling figures tilted down from 50 to 49 percent.
Moreover, 48 percent of voters say they would not vote for Mr. Bolsonaro — down from 50 percent last week. For Lula, the curve went in the opposite direction — from 40 to 42 percent. It could be just a blip within the margin of error (next week’s readings should confirm whether this is a trend).
President Bolsonaro has launched several strategies to appeal to low-income voters, from a program offering debt relief, to another making payroll deduction loans available for aid recipients, to measures holding down fuel prices. Also playing in the president’s favor is the fact that food inflation is losing steam — having a positive impact on poorer voters.
The good news for Lula is that he is in the lead with 94 percent of voters saying they have already made up their minds.