In the 2018 election, an innovative model of digital political campaigning substantiated the triumph of Jair Bolsonaro and many of his allies. In 2020, also due to the coronavirus pandemic, canvassing social media will be a necessity for every politician. In Mr. Bolsonaro’s case, the strategy was employed out of necessity, in order to close the gap to his better-established rivals. He won the election without the backing of a traditional party, with a cheaper campaign, using a strong net of digital supporters. Online backers which are under investigation for using illegal mass sending of messages and fake news on Whatsapp, which the president denies.
Despite the uncertainty about how the next campaign will unfold, it is highly unlikely that candidates will be able to hold in-person rallies or knock on doors. This will be a dramatic change to the dynamic of municipal elections in a country with 5,570 cities, most of them small towns accustomed to certain physical proximity with their elected officials.