Polls Confirm that People Strongly Support Lula as Next President of Brazil

By Gustavo A Maranges on February 10, 2022

This week, many media outlets in Brazil spread information assuring that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was leading in the polls, aiming at the next October 2nd presidential elections in Brazil. Even though he has not formally presented his candidacy for the event, Lula has been involved in an intense political campaign to win the election, since the Supreme court restored his political rights almost a year ago.

According to the consultant Genial/Quaest, Lula holds 45% of the voting preference, while the current President Jair Bolsonaro roughly is at 23%. He has even threatened people during meetings by saying “if you vote Lula, you will pay for it,” as happened late this week in the state of Rio Grande du Norte.

He used the phrase after making reference to the corruption that he attributes to Lula and Dilma Rousseff’s governments. Nevertheless, he hypocritically lied about his administration’s commitment to fighting corruption. The right-wing president’s 2018 campaign was based on this kind of speech, but after 4 years in power, his false promises and lies hold no water.

Besides Lula and Bolsonaro, another 5 candidates are running for the presidency: Ciro Gomes (7% of the voting intention), Joao Doria (2%), Andre Janones (2%), Simone Tebet (1%). And the last candidate is Sergio Moro (7%), former Justice Minister for Bolsonaro, and the Judge that sent Lula to prison in a rigged trial after the Lava Jato corruption scandal. Moro even publicly admitted that doing so was all about undermining  Lula out of the way for Bolsonaro to win the Presidential election in 2018.

The lightly-supported candidates represent a third way, but the polls suggested that not any of them have chances to defeat Lula.

The survey also showed that Bolsonaro’s image has heavily deteriorated ever since, 80% of people criticized the way he handled inflation, 62% are not happy with the strategy against corruption and 65% consider he has to deal with the pandemic. Bolsonaro failed to control the inflation which grew up to 10.06% in 2021. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has infected almost 27 Brazilians people and over 635,000 have died, which places the South American country as having the second-largest surge in the world, after the US.

The government’s strategy to create more jobs has not succeeded if it ever had any. It has also neglected all its commitments to climate change. The fires in the Amazon and the increase of deforestation rates are among the most evident proofs. Thus, there is no doubt that Bolsonaro will be remembered for his disastrous management of the country in every single aspect of his presidency.

Based on all these facts, it is not unreasonable to think that Lula has very good odds to win the election, as the polls have been suggesting since he said he will run in the 2022 General Elections. However, some powerful interests around the world do not want the Trump-like age to be over in Brazil.

In May last year, the Spanish newspaper “El Pais” assured that Lula had a complicated path to the victory because he was behind Bolsonaro in the surveys with 33.2% of the voting intention vs 37% for Bolsonaro. They also stated that it was little likelihood that Lula could beat another candidate different from Bolsonaro in a runoff. Meanwhile, the local outlet Datafolha assured that Lula had 41% of the voting intention and Bolsonaro only 23%. Was “El Pais” looking at a different Brazil? Yes, it was looking to a wished for Brazil, instead of to the real one.

In the same line, the Washington Post recently published an article asking if Lula was better than Bolsonaro for democracy’s sake. The loaded question came after Lula refused to talk against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega for being over 16 years in power since no one said a word with Margaret Thatcher (12 years as Prime Minister of United Kingdom), Angela Merkel (16 years as Chancellor of Germany) or Felipe Gonzalez (14 years as President of Spain).

The truth here is that the international right sector is afraid of what Lula’s triumph and Brazil represents for Latin America. Looking at the regional political landscape, it is easy to realize that progressive forces are emerging again while the ultranationalist and extreme-right governments are falling. If Lula wins, Brazil would take the prominent role it once held as a pillar of the regional integration, which is a threat for all those who still look at Latin America as a region of subjected colonies.

When you look at Brazilians, you can understand that they are tired of a neo-fascist and corrupt government that even dared to make profits from COVID-19 vaccines at the cost of thousands of lives. For them, it is impossible to forget all the social policies implemented by Lula and the vulgar trap used by the judiciary to take victory from him in 2018. The fact of the matter is that during the PT terms of Lula and Dilma this powerhouse nation was coming into its own on the world stage with a robust economy and impressive social reforms. Bolsonaro’s time has been all about dismantling that progress and despite the lies the Brazilian people are waking up to it.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English