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October 19 poll reaffirms Bolsonaro’s popularity and likelihood of winning Brazilian elections

According to a poll conducted by Datafolha between October 17-18 and published a day later, Jail Bolsonaro (PSL) remains the candidate who is most likely to secure the presidency during elections on October 28. The poll indicates that while Bolsonaro will obtain 59% of votes, Fernando Haddad (PT) will obtain 41%. Datafolha further indicates that 54% of citizens would not vote for the PT under any circumstance. In turn, 41% of respondents said that they would not vote for Bolsonaro. A similar survey conducted by the same pollster on October 10 indicated that Bolsonaro would obtain 49% and Hadad 36%. Bolsonaro won the first round on October 7 with 46% votes against 29% for Haddad.

As previously assessed, anti-PT sentiment owing to major corruption scandals during the party's rule is at some extent responsible for Bolsonaro’s successful performance at the polls. Despite his efforts to portray the party in a new light, recognizing past mistakes in an attempt to steer the PT to centrist positions which appeal to the middle classes, Haddad is unlikely to disassociate himself from the party’s recent controversial record, and Datafolha’s poll confirms Bolsonaro’s popularity continues to rise. This can be attributed to the efforts made by the conservative candidate to rehabilitate his image among liberal sectors of society, who criticize his opposition toward minorities' rights and his controversial positions toward Brazilian democracy. In this sense, despite being a polarizing figure, it seems clear Bolsonaro continues to capitalize on anti-PT sentiment, thus swaying over centrist voters who would vote for any candidate who was not a member of the PT.

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