Bolsonaro’s disapproval reaches record with Lula gaining ground

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during the 'Socio-environmental Actions and Adherence to the Adopt a Park Programme' event at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on May 12, 2021. (SERGIO LIMA / AFP)

President Jair Bolsonaro’s disapproval rating rose to the highest level of his term as the Brazilian leader finds himself enmeshed in multiple crises just a year ahead of a re-election bid. 

A poll conducted by XP/Ipespe showed 54 percent of Brazilians rate Bolsonaro as “bad or terrible,” up from 52 percent in July. His popularity also slid with 23 percent giving him a “good or great” rating, down from 25 percent, according to the survey, which was released Tuesday.

A poll conducted by XP/Ipespe showed 54 percent of Brazilians rate Bolsonaro as “bad or terrible,” up from 52 percent in July

Bolsonaro is currently ensnared in a slew of criminal investigations for alleged irregularities in the procurement of vaccines and for efforts to cast doubt on Brazil’s electronic ballot system. 

At the same time, a senate inquiry is digging into the government’s hands-off approach to containing the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed nearly 570,000 lives. The president has denied any wrongdoing on all fronts. 

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The scandals have been a boon to the president’s opponents. If elections were held tomorrow, the poll found that 40 percent of Brazilians would vote for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, up from 38 percent in July. Only 24 percent of respondents said they were for Bolsonaro, down from 26 percent.

Bolsonaro trails all potential candidates in a runoff vote, according to the survey, which also showed 61 percent of respondents would not vote for the incumbent under any circumstance. That compares with 45 percent for Lula, seen as his main challenger. 

Pollsters conducted interviews with 1,000 people between August 11-14, with a margin of error of 3.2 percent.

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