Politics

Shocker: Pollsters Once Again Drastically Underestimate Populist Conservative’s Numbers

Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

Sarah Weaver Staff Writer
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Brazilian presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will face incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, who defied pollsters’ predictions of a landslide loss.

The socialist Lula won 48.4% of the first-round vote to Bolsonaro’s 43.2%, per Bloomberg. With neither candidates receiving a majority, they will advance to a runoff Oct. 30. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Populist Conservatives Are On A Tear. What Does It Mean For The Midterms?)

Previous surveys had predicted a landslide victory for Lula, as yet another round of pollsters underestimated populist success. A survey of 12,800 Brazilians showed Lula leading Bolsonaro 50-36.

“It is too soon to go too deep, but this election shows Bolsonaro’s victory in 2018 was not a hiccup,” Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Sao Paulo‘s Insper University, said according to Politico.

Bolsonaro was sworn in as president of Brazil in 2019 as part of a rightward shift also seen in Hungary, the U.S., and Italy. He ran on promises of restoring traditional Christian family values, aggressively addressing the country’s crime problems, and opposing “gender ideology.” He was also a close ally of American President Donald Trump.

Pollsters famously underestimated Trump’s support in the 2016 election. An analysis from the American Association for Public Opinion Research found this misstep was mostly due to state-level polling errors in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.