The popularity of the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has risen in May compared to March. A survey by the consulting firm Atlas, published on Monday, established that 40% of the population approves the actions of the far-right leader, compared to 35% two months ago. Disapproval of the president also had a slight decrease: it fell from 60% to 57% in the same period. The margin of error for the survey is two percentage points. For Andrei Roman, director of Atlas, the improvement in Bolsonaro’s positive image is directly related to the return of the payment of emergency aid that the Government ordered to alleviate the economic effects of covid-19. The rise, however, does not guarantee re-election in 2022. According to the same poll, Bolsonaro would lose in an eventual second round against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who had just returned to the electoral arena after a Supreme Court ruling that returned his political rights.
State aid to the poorest families began to be paid in April. And despite the fact that its amount is lower than last year (230 dollars against 71 dollars), it has impacted on the presidential popularity. In Roman’s opinion, there is also “relative relief in relation to the pandemic situation in the country.” “The previous survey, in March, was done at the time of greatest tension” health, he reflects. March and April were the deadliest months of the pandemic so far in Brazil. The average number of deaths has fallen in recent weeks, but experts point out that it is still too early to celebrate: they warn of the risk of a new rise in infections after the meetings this weekend for Mother’s Day. As expected, the ratings of the Bolsonaro government also showed an improvement: 31% (against 25% in March) consider the management between excellent and good, against 53% who consider it bad or terrible (57% in March ).
Lula also improves
The Atlas poll also shows that the improvement in Bolsonaro’s popularity facilitates electoral simulations for the race for the presidential succession in 2022. The president leads in the first round, with or without Lula as a rival. Both Bolsonaro and Lula performed better in May, compared to March. Bolsonaro went from 32.7% of voting intention two months ago to 37%. The leader of the Workers’ Party went from 27.4% in March to 33.2% in May in the simulation of the intention to vote in the first round.
The situation is reversed in the event of a second round. Lula is, in this hypothetical scenario of a runoff for the presidency, the only one who defeats Bolsonaro. The former president appears with 45.7% compared to 41% for Jair Bolsonaro, a difference of almost five percentage points, a difference that exceeds the survey’s margin of error of two points. Ciro Gomes (PDT) and former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta (DEM) appear numerically ahead of Bolsonaro, but in both cases they are technically tied.
For Andrei Roman, Bolsonaro benefits from the growing weakness of his former direct rivals in the spectrum of the right and center-right, with the reduction of the figure Sergio Moro, former Lava Jato judge and former Minister of Justice. Moro’s voting intention has fallen from 9.7% in March to 4.9% in May. “There is also the cannibalization of this space with the entry of Danilo Gentili,” he says. The comedian and television host is running as a candidate for the right – around the world, various comedians have tried their luck running as anti-establishment candidates, some successfully. In the survey, Gentili appears with 2%.
The Atlas survey surveyed 3,828 people between May 6 and 9 using random online questionnaires. The responses are calibrated by an algorithm according to the characteristics of the Brazilian population.
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