By Anna Buss for the LAProgressive on July 18, 2021
Presidential elections in Brazil are 15 months away, but several recent polls show a grim picture for Brazil’s leader as he aspires for a second term in office.
Recent surveys are not looking good for President Jair Bolsonaro. That is because for the first time 54% of Brazilians polled favor his impeachment. His disapproval ratings have also recently risen to 51%, the highest level since he came to power. Meanwhile most Brazilians see him as being “dishonest, false, incompetent, unprepared, indecisive, authoritarian, and unintelligent,” and 70% of them believe there is evidence of corruption on his government. To make matters worse, a new poll revealed that 59% would not cast a ballot for him under any circumstance, while his archenemy, former President Luis Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva, is predicted to win a runoff race in 2022 with 58% of the vote.
Drawing straight from Donald Trump’s autocratic playbook, and with mounting low public opinions Bolsonaro has turned to his most ardent followers for adulation and unconditional love. However, instead of stadium-packed events like Trump, Bolsonaro prefers bike rides. Over the weekend, that is precisely what he did. Without wearing a mask—his signature pandemic look—and apparently still unvaccinated, Bolsonaro led a bike ride around the city of Porto Alegre, where he overwhelmingly won in 2018 and where he still finds strong support. In a desperate attempt to shift the spotlight from his sinking popularity he ended the parade with a speech defending a change in the voting system due to “widespread fraud.” “If [Lula] has 60%, according to [the polls], we are going to make the vote printed and auditable to see if he really wins in the opinion of the people,” he proclaimed.
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