Bolsonaro popularity on the up despite Covid-19 chaos

Bolsonaro popularity on the up despite Covid-19 chaos
President Bolsonaro in Brasília. Photo: Marcos Corrêa/PR

It is becoming increasingly clear that the presidency of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro will neither be made nor broken by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the country creeping toward the embarrassing total of 2 million Covid-19 cases and the tragedy of 75,000 deaths, Mr. Bolsonaro’s popularity is beginning to increase, according to a recent poll by Ideia Big Data.

As the timeline chart below shows, the percentage of Brazilians who classified Mr. Bolsonaro’s government as “bad or terrible” increased sharply during the pandemic, but this rejection is now falling since the beginning of June. Furthermore, those who believe the administration is doing a “great or good” job reached 30 percent, the highest level since late April.

Pollsters believe that this increase is linked to the government’s BRL 600 monthly coronavirus salary, which pays out aid to needy populations who have lost income during the pandemic. The administration is also keen to launch a new income transfer program before mid-August, entitled Renda Brasil, which would be a bid to maintain this support from lower-income families.

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