Brazilians’ disapproval of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis is at a record high and he may face a tough campaign for re-election next year, according to new polls, as Brazil struggles with its worst pandemic surge yet.
A Datafolha survey, released on Tuesday, shows 54 per cent of Brazilians regard Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis as bad or awful. A separate poll by PoderData showed two leftist rivals could beat Bolsonaro in a potential run-off vote in October 2022.
Support for Bolsonaro has eroded as Brazil faces a brutal second wave of coronavirus cases, with a record 2841 deaths in 24 hours reported on Tuesday and a record 90,303 new confirmed infections reported on Wednesday.
The president’s prospects have also dimmed since his political nemesis, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had his corruption convictions overturned this month by the Supreme Court, allowing him to run in the 2022 election.
Lula and leftist former lawmaker Ciro Gomes would have more support than Bolsonaro in a hypothetical run-off vote, according to the PoderData survey, which showed both of them five percentage points ahead of Bolsonaro.
The Datafolha poll carried out this week shows a further decline in confidence in Bolsonaro over the pandemic since the previous poll on January 20-21, when 48 per cent respondents expressed disapproval.
It also showed that 50 per cent of Brazilians reject a potential impeachment of Bolsonaro, while 46 per cent are in favour. In the January poll, 53 per cent were against impeachment while 42 per cent supported it.