Bolsonaro's Priorities Don't Appeal To Most Brazilians

Datafolha poll shows that a significant part of the population disagrees with the president's main policy proposals

Mauro Paulino e Alessandro Janoni

Results of a national Datafolha poll show suggest a detachment between president Bolsonaro's agenda and Brazilian public opinion.

Even thought Bolsonaro won by a majority of votes and there is an overall positive expectation about his term, voters' positions on some of the proposals announced by either him or his cabinet don't enjoy the same kind of support.

Except for immigrant control and reducing the age of majority, other points in Bolsonaro's agenda like depoliticizing schools, gun law reform and alignment with the United States in foreign policy and trade are condemned by a significant part of the population, with percentages close to 70%. 

But other proposals, like reducing land areas destined to indigenous populations, cutting environmental protections, selling state companies to private investors and loss of labor rights, have high disapproval rates.

The data begs the question: how was Bolsonaro elected if there is such a mismatch between him and the voters?

The voting decision process is composed of factors like competence appraisal, moral values and class or group conscience.

Depending on the social, political and economic scenarios, one factor or another weigh more heavily when people are deciding their votes.

In other words, voters don't necessarily have to agree with everything a candidate proposes to choose him or her. The voter might disagree with most of the candidate's agenda, but he or she values so much a particular issue that ends up choosing that candidate.

To illustrate this behavior, when the poll eliminates all overlapping answers, we find out that 86% of the respondents support at least one of the 13 points of Bolsonaro's agenda, as inquired by Datafolha pollsters. In the extreme opposite, only 1% of them oppose everything in Bolsonaro's plan.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

Read the article in the original language​​