Pollsters Underestimate Populist Movement In Presidential Race

(PatrioticPost.com)- Last weekend’s presidential election in Brazil didn’t turn out at all the way pollsters had projected.

Polling before the election had predicted that the socialist candidate, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, would easily defeat incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and the other two challengers in a landslide. One survey of 12,800 voters had Lula leading Bolsonaro 50 percent to 36 percent.

The polls weren’t just wrong. They were very wrong, leading some to suspect pollsters once again were underestimating the support for a populist candidate much as they did in 2016 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In last Saturday’s election, Bolsonaro drew 43.2 percent of the vote, thus preventing Lula from reaching over 50 percent. With no candidate winning an outright majority, the two candidates will now face off again in a runoff election at the end of the month.

Even as the counting was underway, pundits were confident that Lula had victory in the bag and Bolsonaro, long hated by the media, would be sent packing.

By the end, Bolsonaro remained to fight another day.

Currently, the polling has tightened, with Lula leading Bolsonaro by between 3 to 6 points. A recent poll from The Economist had the race tied at 50 percent.

The two also-rans from last weekend’s race both endorsed Lula over Bolsonaro in the upcoming runoff. But it remains to be seen if their voters will follow their lead and vote for the socialist.

Despite the tightening polls, Lula is still favored to win the runoff.

Some analysts, however, think Bolsonaro’s far-better-than-expected showing in last weekend’s election may force Lula to moderate some of his opposition to programs pushed by Bolsonaro, including Bolsonaro’s deregulation and privatization programs.

After former President Trump’s unexpected victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, analysis from the American Association for Public Opinion Research concluded that the pollsters of pollsters to accurately predict the race was mostly due to state-level polling errors in key battleground states that underestimated Trump’s populist support.