Nearly 147 million Brazilians will cast votes for president on October 7, but the candidate that was topping the polls won't be in the race. In polls, former two-term President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva commanded double-digit leads over the other dozen candidates, but on September 1, the Supreme Electoral Court decided his 12-year prison sentence, which began in April, disqualifies him from running.
Lula's running mate and former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad is now the Workers' Party (PT) candidate. So far polls show Haddad has to make up ground if he wants to compete with frontrunner, former general Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL). Trying to catch up with the hard-right candidate are three other politicians considered to represent the establishment: former São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), three-time candidate Ciro Gomes on the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) ticket, and four-term Senator Alvaro Dias of We Can (PODE). Competing with them for third place in the polls is Marina Silva of the Sustainability Network (REDE), formerly Lula’s environmental minister until 2008.
In the end, these candidates’ challenge is not just getting a piece of the Lula voting bloc for themselves, but convincing a quarter of the electorate that is still either undecided or expected to cast a blank or null vote. As we get closer to election day, AS/COA Online tracks four of Brazil’s main pollsters on how the electoral scenarios could play out.
- Check out our 2018 Brazil Election Guide.
- Get a who's who of the candidates in Brazil's 2018 presidential race.
Note: This tracker was initially published on August 23, 2018. It has been updated as new polls become available.