Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, is maintaining his wide lead over incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro ahead of an election in October, according to a poll released Thursday.
What did the survey reveal?
The Datafolha opinion survey puts leftist Lula at 47% support, with Bolsonaro standing at 28%. Center-left candidate Ciro Gomes received 8% support.
The survey results have only changed marginally since last month, when 48% of voters had said they back Lula, with Bolsonaro garnering 27% support.
Setting aside the percentage of voters in the latest survey who said they will cast a spoiled or blank ballot, Lula would receive 53% support, with Bolsonaro garnering 32%. This would be enough for Lula to win outright in the first round of voting.
Lula has praised the poll, saying Brazilians want to "get rid" of the current government.
Bolsonaro has previously downplayed surveys showing him behind his leftist opponent.
High inflation, along with a COVID response criticized by many Brazilian voters, could deny the incumbent a second term.
Bolsonaro embroiled in new corruption scandal
This week, a new corruption scandal could also imperil Bolsonaro's reelection bid.
On Thursday, Bolsonaro's education minister, Milton Ribeiro, was released after being arrested on corruption charges a day earlier.
Brazilian federal judge Ney Bello ordered the release of Ribeiro, saying the charges did not justify his pre-trial detention.
Ribeiro left his post in March after allegations that he channeled public money to the allies of two major evangelical pastors at the "special request" of Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro has described the arrest as an attempt to "wear down the government." At the same time, he has sought to distance himself from his former minister.
Ribeiro, who is also a Presbyterian pastor, has denied the charges.
Evangelical Christians are a key base of support for conservative Bolsonaro.
wd/kb (Reuters, AP, AFP)