Bolsonaro Surprisingly Strong, Forces Brazil Runoff

By Diane Jeantet and Carla Bridi

"Expect an ugly race that will leave scars," said AS/COA's Brian Winter to the Associated Press.

Jair Bolsonaro outperformed the polls in the first round of Brazil's presidential election, forcing a runoff while proving that the far-right wave he rode to the presidency remains a force and giving the world yet another example of surveys missing the mark.

The most-trusted opinion polls had indicated leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was far out front, and potentially even clinching a first-round victory on Sunday. One had given da Silva a 14 percentage point lead. But Bolsonaro came within just five points of da Silva, who he will face in a high-stakes runoff on Oct. 30. […]

“Brazil is much more polarized than many people thought, and governing will be difficult for whomever wins,” said Brian Winter, vice president for policy at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. “I think the next few weeks will put heavy strain on Brazil’s democracy as these two men fight it out. Expect an ugly race that will leave scars.”…

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