São Paulo will be one of Brazil's tightest state races

With Brazil’s general elections only a week away and the polarization around the presidential race becoming more and more intense each day, it can be easy for voters to forget that there are also state governorships up for grabs. State races are usually heated and widely discussed, but have been punted out of bounds by the press this time around, with all the focus on Jair Bolsonaro versus Fernando Haddad.

Recent opinion polls from renowned institutes Ibope and Datafolha have mapped the current field of play around Brazil’s 27 states, and have shown that a significant number of gubernatorial races are relatively clear-cut already. Eleven candidates are due to win in the first round of voting, that is, when they receive over 50 percent of valid votes in next week’s polls – six of these are incumbents. However, beyond these six, there are only four other sitting governors with realistic chances of re-election, the remaining 17 states will almost definitely see a change of leadership.

Here at The Brazilian Report, we have broken down the polling situations in the country’s nine most important states, according to Ibope and Datafolha data, released this week.

</span></p> <h2>A tough election for sitting governors</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Re-election for Executive posts was introduced in Brazil in 1998. Since then, 70 percent of sitting governors who ran for a second term won four more years. This time around, though, things are more complicated. Only half of sitting governors are leading the polls &#8211; and 9 of them risk not even reaching the runoff stage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each administration faces its own challenges but, in broad strokes, three factors are decisive: corruption scandals, a financial crisis that hampers investments, and a lack of charismatic allies on the federal stage to galvanize supporters. Re-election rates this time around will be much lower than usual.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9257" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-1024x1021.png" alt="state races governor brazil 2018 election" width="1024" height="1021" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-1024x1021.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-150x150.png 150w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-300x300.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-768x765.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-610x608.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2-120x120.png 120w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-xnwU2-2.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>São Paulo</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With previous governor Geraldo Alckmin running (unsuccessfully) for the presidency, there is a real chance that for the first time in 24 years, a governor from the Social Democracy Party (PSDB) will not run Brazil’s most populous and wealthiest state.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday’s Datafolha poll was led by PSDB candidate and former Mayor of São Paulo João Doria on 25 percent, with Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) party candidate Paulo Skaf close behind on 22. In other words, the race is set to go to a second-round runoff, pitting Mr. Skaf against Mr. Doria. In ideological terms, there is not much to choose between the two, with both coming from the center-right. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The potential deciding factor concerns the presidential race: Mr. Doria’s team have already approached the Jair Bolsonaro campaign for support in the runoff. The far-right candidate leads presidential polls in São Paulo and could sway its gubernatorial election. As things stand, Mr. Skaf would be victorious in a runoff scenario, according to Datafolha.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9232" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1-1024x683.png" alt="São Paulo governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-33dCP-1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Rio de Janeiro</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is still a significant question mark hanging over the gubernatorial race of Rio de Janeiro, as one of the three leading candidates, Anthony Garotinho, has just been barred from running by the electoral courts. With frontrunner Eduardo Paes (MDB) on 25 percent, and challenger and former soccer player Romário on 14 percent, the distribution of Mr. Garotinho’s 15 percent of votes will be crucial to the outcome of the election.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is doubtful that Mr. Garotinho&#8217;s votes will go to Mr. Paes, as the two men are fierce political adversaries. With the courts barring his candidacy at the last minute, Mr. Garotinho’s name will remain on the ballot, meaning that any votes for him will be marked as void, potentially helping whoever leads the first round. The specter of Jair Bolsonaro is also set to loom over Rio’s election, with Romário&#8217;s campaign seeking an alliance with the far-right candidate.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9234" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1-1024x683.png" alt="Rio de Janeiro governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-F9LWZ-1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Minas Gerais</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Minas Gerais is always a crucial state in Brazilian politics and has grabbed the headlines even more than usual this time around. Since the country&#8217;s return to democracy, no president has been elected without winning a majority in Minas. Naturally, all eyes are on the performance of Jair Bolsonaro and Fernando Haddad in the expansive southeastern state. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Legislative elections have also been in the public eye, as former president Dilma Rousseff and 2014 runner-up Aécio Neves are both running for office in Minas Gerais, the former for senator, the latter for a lower house seat.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All this means that the governor&#8217;s race has taken a back seat, but it is set to be a corker. Sitting governor Fernando Pimentel, of the Workers’ Party, is lagging behind in second place in Datafolha’s Friday poll, with 24 percent. The frontrunner is PSDB&#8217;s Antonio Anastasia, with 33 percent. The MDB party&#8217;s candidate stepped out of the race last month, turning Minas Gerais into a classic dispute between the Workers’ Party and their traditional rivals PSDB.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9237" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c-1024x683.png" alt="Minas Gerais governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HGI4c.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Bahia</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the largest and most populous state of Brazil’s important Northeast region, the race for governor is already cut and dried. Incumbent Rui Costa, of the Workers&#8217; Party, is currently polling at 61 percent of votes, which, discounting invalid votes, adds up to an incredible 80 percent. Mr. Costa&#8217;s closest challenger, José Ronaldo of the Democratas party, is polling at a mere 10 percent.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9238" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1-1024x683.png" alt="Bahia governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-NR3TK-1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Rio Grande do Sul</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Famously, southern state Rio Grande do Sul has never re-elected a governor since Brazil’s return to democracy. This time around, that streak could be broken, with the incumbent set to go to a second-round runoff. José Ivo Sartori, of the MDB party, is statistically tied at the front with 29 percent, along with PSDB candidate Eduardo Leite, who comes in at 30 percent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the state&#8217;s tradition of favoring the opposition, and Mr. Leite increasing his vote in recent weeks, Mr. Sartori’s rejection rates could see him muscled out of office in the second-round runoff.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9230" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1-1024x683.png" alt="Rio Grande do Sul governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-HtWj1-1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Pernambuco</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the northeastern state of Pernambuco, regional hegemony is under threat, as Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) candidate Paulo Câmara, the current state governor, is being run closely by Armando Monteiro of the Brazilian Labor Party. The incumbent is currently polling at 38 percent, but his opponent has enjoyed a sharp rise and now stands at 30 percent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The PSB is traditionally strong in Pernambuco, being the homeland of legendary Pernambuco governor Miguel Arraes, as well as his grandson Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash while campaigning for president in 2014.<br /> </span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9239" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj-1024x683.png" alt="Pernambuco governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-dv7hj.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Federal District</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The tiny Federal District, which encompasses the capital city of Brasília, has one of the tightest races of the country. MDB party candidate Ibaneis Rocha is the new leader in the polls, according to Datafolha, having jumped from 13 percent last week, to 24 percent. His meteoric rise is all the more surprising when you consider that this time last month, he polled only 2 percent. Eliana Pedrosa, of the center-right Republican Party of Social Order, has lost her lead and is attempting to hold on to a place in the second round with 16 percent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Behind her are incumbent Rodrigo Rollemberg (PSB) and Alberto Fraga (Democratas party, both in with a chance of making the runoff.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The focus of campaigns has been on public servants, which make up an astonishing 30% of the economically active population of the Distrito Federal. Despite the district&#8217;s economy struggling badly, each of the candidates is offering different types of benefits and raises to public servants, which will all be incredibly hard to carry out.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9236" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z-1024x683.png" alt="Brasilia federal district governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-PE69z.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Paraná</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The governor&#8217;s race in Paraná is haunted by the figure of Beto Richa, the former center-right state governor who was recently arrested and charged with running a criminal organization which ordered the receipt of bribes from suppliers of the Paraná government. Whereas before, all candidates would have killed to receive his blessing, now everyone is distancing themselves from him as much as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cida Borghetti, Mr. Richa&#8217;s vice-governor and incumbent since Mr. Richa left his post to run for the Senate before being arrested, is struggling in the polls. His party alliance has even challenged Mr. Richa&#8217;s candidacy for senator.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The leader in the polls is Ratinho Junior, who, on 44 percent, has a good chance of winning in the first round. A former ally of Mr. Richa, he has done his best to cut all ties with the sitting administration.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9229" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1-1024x683.png" alt="Paraná governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-MU7By-1.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <hr /> <h2>Ceará</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Electing Camilo Santana in 2014 was a coup for the Workers’ Party, representing the first time it managed to take control of the northeastern state of Ceará, in what was a very close run race.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This time around, there won&#8217;t be any such drama, as the people of Ceará are set to give Mr. Santana a second term without much question. Latest polls in the state put the Workers’ Party candidate at 69 percent, a stunning 85 percent of valid votes.</span></p> <hr /> <p><img class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9233" src="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j-1024x683.png" alt="ceará governor race 2018 election" width="1024" height="683" srcset="https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j-1024x683.png 1024w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j-300x200.png 300w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j-768x512.png 768w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j-610x407.png 610w, https://brazilian.report/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/export-fXL0j.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><span style="font-weight: 400;">

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PowerSep 30, 2018

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