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Bolsonaro is reducing Lula’s lead among Catholics and widening it with evangelicals, polls show.

The Bolsonarian lead grew among evangelicals, exposing the fragility of the PA, which is known to be more affected.

Anna Virginia Balusier
Sao Paulo-SP

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) has always been favored by Brazil’s largest religious bloc, the Catholics, but his intention to vote in the sector falls in the second round, while Jair Bolsonaro (PL) is ahead.

Bolsonarista’s lead among evangelicals increased, exposing the fragility of the PA, which is known to be more influenced by the faith community than average when it comes to voting.

Favorability for Lula has fluctuated less among voters who say they have no particular religion, the third-largest share of voters when considering Brazilian beliefs. That’s twice as many as Bolsonaro’s election.

This is what the Cebrap (Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning) tool shows, which collected 146 electoral polls conducted since February. Through this, it is possible to track the religious aspects of how Brazilians intend to vote.

The latest update was based on the seven-day moving average up to October 27 for surveys conducted by nine institutes: Datafolha, Ipec, Quaest, Ipespe, FSB, Vox Populi, PoderData, MDA and Futura.

In the average of these polls for the second round, Lula received 54.5% of Catholics, and Bolsonaro – 38.5%. PT has 31.5% of evangelicals, and its rival has 60.5%. 61% of non-religious voters support the former president, and 29.5% support the current one.


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Overall, Lula has 48.5% support and Bolsonaro 43.5%, a situation similar to the result of the first round.

The PT’s favoritism among Catholics remains, but the margin narrowed in the second round. Within evangelicalism, however, there are moments when Bolsonaro’s approval rating has grown stronger, such as shortly after Sergio Moro (Brasil Unión) ran for president. Bolsonaro has gained eight percentage points in the group since that event.

Joao Doria’s (ex-PSDB) exit from the race may have initially benefited Lula. PT gained five points and its rival lost four points in this segment of the electorate.

The first televised debate also boosted the candidate for re-election. On the other hand, Bolsonarist September 7, fed by religious whining, did not move the needle in favor of Bolsonarism.


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Sebrap’s tool shows how the distance between the two rivals was much smaller in the first half, sometimes even within the margin of error of a technical draw. Bolsonaro’s advantage increases with the start of the pre-election campaign, which coincides with the multiplication of speeches in his favor in churches.

The president has never ignored this religious base, but in recent months he has stepped up his presence at temples and evangelical rallies. Added to this is the “strong participation of pastors who demonize Lula,” said Dirceu Andre Gerardi, a sociologist responsible for aggregating polls by religion.

For this report, the paper did not take into account data from the philanthropic public because they have a small presence in the electorate, ranging from 1% to 6% of the sample analyzed, depending on the survey. This creates larger margins of error. Voters without religion are more numerous and on average make up over 10% of respondents.

The lack of a new census with updated data on Brazil’s religiosity is needed to measure the weight of each faith in the population, according to Gerardi. It is impossible to know precisely the size of the evangelical electorate, for example, a group that massively backs Bolsonaro.


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There is significant variation in the various polls, with Catholics ranging from 40% to 58% and evangelicals from 22% to 35%. Experts debated whether this could partly help to understand why the first round of polls did not capture part of the Bolsonaro vote, even as this Christian bloc may also be more connected to the anti-research campaign promoted by the president. and allies, failing to respond to it, contributing to underestimating Bolsonaro’s votes.

Under the influence of “Bolsonaro’s propaganda machine” and “intense social media campaigning,” the Bolsonaro voter “tends to have less faith in election research,” Gerardi says.


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