On Thursday evening, thousands took to the streets of the northeastern city of Recife to greet Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate of the center-left Workers’ Party, on his final campaign push before Sunday’s election runoff. Despite a recent resurgence, recent polls show Mr. Haddad 12 percentage points behind his opponent, the far-right former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro.
The choice of Recife for one of Mr. Haddad’s last public rallies was no coincidence. While Brazil’s Northeast, the poorest region of the country, tends to show a lot of support for the Workers’ Party, October 7’s first round of voting indicated that the party is losing its grip on the area’s largest cities.
Recife, home to over 4 million people, voted for Jair Bolsonaro in the first round. The far-right candidate won 43 percent of valid votes in the city, against Mr. Haddad’s 30 percent. This result repeated in four other state capitals of the Northeast: Aracaju, João Pessoa, Maceió, and Natal.