Bolsonaro’s popularity comes ahead of presidential election – MercoPress

Bolsonaro’s popularity ahead of the presidential election

Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 10:20 UTC

Whether Bolsonaro will succeed in getting Lula into the runoff after October 30 remains a mystery

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sees his chances of re-election in October improving after a drop in unemployment announced on Friday helped him close the gap with former leader Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.

Unemployment fell to 11.2% between November 2021 and January 2022, while Bolsonaro continues to allocate nearly $30 billion to measures aimed at restarting consumption and keeping the economy as safe as possible from war in Ukraine keep.

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the new unemployment figures were 3.3% lower than the same period in 2021 and also the lowest since 2016.

However, the purchasing power of salaries has fallen by 9.7% year-on-year, while 4.2% of Brazilians have stopped looking for a job because they could not find one.

Still, pollster PoderData released a study on Friday that showed Bolsonaro was the candidate with the highest rejection rate, saying 51% of voters said they would choose any other candidate. For Bolsonaro, that represented a 9% improvement over December’s numbers, while Lula remained the one with the lowest rejection rate: 44%.

Quaest also released this week that Lula was the favorite for the Oct. 2 election with 44% of voting intentions, followed by Bolsonaro’s 26%.

So the trend is steady: Bolsonaro’s numbers keep improving while Lula’s keep falling, according to the two researchers.

Bolsonaro’s recovery has been linked to a drop in unemployment and social assistance through the Auxilio Brasil aid program, alongside a drop in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

However, whether Bolsonaro will succeed in getting Lula into the runoff after October 30 remains a mystery.

In that scenario, Bolsonaro launched the Income and Opportunity Program on Thursday, which will pump around 150 billion real ($28 billion) into the economy through a series of measures.

“The war that may start will kill more people than World War I and World War II combined, this war is about our food, about food security (…) the basics will be missing,” warned Bolsonaro, a retired army captain.

It also remains to be seen how a recent sharp rise in fuel prices will affect Bolsonaro’s waning popularity.

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