Amid escalating violence, Bolsonaro maintains lead over Haddad in Brazil runoff

Pollster Datafolha shows votes for other candidates transferred at equal rates to each presidential hopeful

São Paulo |
Far-right Jair Bolsonaro (left) and left-wing presidential hopeful Fernando Haddad will battle in runoff vote on Oct. 28
Far-right Jair Bolsonaro (left) and left-wing presidential hopeful Fernando Haddad will battle in runoff vote on Oct. 28 - Handout

The first opinion poll released by Datafolha for the second round of Brazil’s presidential election shows far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro at 58 percent of voting intention, while leftist Fernando Haddad is at 42 percent of voter support.


The Northeast is the only region where the retired army captain would lose for Haddad, where the presidential hopeful running for the Workers’ Party is at 52 percent of voting intention, over 32 percent for Bolsonaro.

The far-right candidate would win by a large margin in Brazil’s most populous region, the Southeast, holding 55 percent of voter support. His best poll numbers, however, are in the South – 60 percent over 26 percent for Haddad.

The survey for the runoff election was conducted on Wednesday and disclosed that same evening. The pollster interviewed 3,235 voters in 227 Brazilian cities, estimating a 95-percent confidence level. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Demographic profile

The second round maintains a demographic trend that showed Bolsonaro’s voters are mostly men. Right now, 42 percent of his voters are women and 57 percent, men.

Meanwhile, the demographic profile of Haddad’s constituents shows an opposite trend: 39 percent are women and 33 percent are men.


The polling firm Datafolha also investigated how important it is for voters that their candidates in the first round endorse Haddad or Bolsonaro.


For center-right Marina Silva’s voters, her endorsement for one of the presidential hopefuls could lead 11 percent of respondents to decide who to cast their votes for. Centrist Ciro Gomes’ endorsement would influence 21 percent of his supporters, while 46 percent of them say he should endorse Haddad in the runoff.

Only 14 percent of respondents who voted for right-wing Geraldo Alckmin in the first round said his endorsement would influence their choice, while 46 percent of them believe he should endorse Bolsonaro.

Datafolha also asked voters about when they decided for whom they would vote. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they chose their presidential candidate at least a month before the elections (the first round was held on Oct. 7), while 10 percent said they did it 15 days in advance, and 8 percent only a week before the polling. Six percent of voters made up their minds the day before the first round, while 12 percent made their decisions on the day of the election.

Escalating violence

After the results of the first round were out, last Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro said he would “put an end to all activism in Brazil.” That same night, capoeira master Moa do Katendê, 63, was murdered in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, stabbed 12 times by a Bolsonaro supporter.

In the southern city of Curitiba, a driver intentionally ran over filmmaker Guilherme Daldin, who was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. On Tuesday, a college student was brutally assaulted by 15 people who shouted words of support for Bolsonaro during the attack; the university was vandalized that same night.

A survey published by Agência Pública, a nonprofit investigative journalism agency, showed at least 50 attacks by Bolsonaro supporters were recorded in Brazil in the past ten days, while six supporters of the far-right candidate were assaulted.

Edited by: Diego Sartorato | English version by Aline Scátola