Brazil’s Presidential Race: Who’s Ahead as well as What to Expect

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — There has been no lack of drama within the lead-up to Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday. One candidate was jailed, another was stabbed as well as a week before the voting, women organized nationwide protests against the front-runner.

The presidential contest, the most splintered as well as divisive race since the end of the military dictatorship within the 1980s, has for many Brazilians come down to who will be the least bad option.

The front-runner by a wide margin will be the far-right former army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, according to the polls. A member of Congress since 1991, he was long a marginal figure best known for incendiary comments defending Brazil’s military dictatorship as well as attacking women, gays as well as blacks.

In addition to electing the next president via a field of 13 candidates, voters will also choose 27 governors as well as more than 1,0 state as well as federal lawmakers. In Brazil, there are 147.3 million eligible voters, as well as voting will be obligatory.

As anger as well as frustration with entrenched political corruption has grown, Mr. Bolsonaro has presented himself as an anti-establishment maverick who could effectively combat corruption as well as rein in soaring violence as well as crime.

His main rival, former São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, entered the race only last month. He was selected to represent the left-wing Workers’ Party after the former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was sentenced to prison on corruption charges as well as barred via running as the party’s candidate.

Until the courts ruled him out, Mr. da Silva had been leading within the polls. although the item appears in which the Workers’ Party has been unable to transfer Mr. da Silva’s broad support among impoverished Brazilians to the less charismatic Mr. Haddad.

The crowded field also includes Marina Silva, the daughter of Amazon rubber tappers; Geraldo Alckmin, the pragmatic as well as market-friendly former governor of São Paulo; as well as a candidate, Cabo Daciolo, who describes himself as a messenger via heaven.

The final polls before Election Day showed Mr. Bolsonaro’s lead widening as the evangelical as well as agribusiness lobbies rallied to his side. although he still appeared likely to fall short of the 50 percent-plus-one needed to avoid a runoff. Surveys project him competing in a second round of voting on Oct. 28 against Mr. Haddad.

Still, some analysts think in which Mr. Bolsonaro, 63, could defy the projections as well as emerge victorious on Sunday night despite — or perhaps because of — his lack of support via a major political party as well as a shoestring budget in which relied on social media to build a base.

Brazil uses an electronic ballot system as well as will be likely to tally results within a couple of hours after polling stations close within the westernmost state of Acre at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Soaring crime, the worst recession on record as well as institutionalized political corruption have been the three main issues within the campaign.

Despite accomplishing little of note during his seven terms as a lawmaker, Mr. Bolsonaro gained prominence when a massive corruption investigation known as Lava Jato, or Car Wash, engulfed all of Brazil’s major political parties.

He cultivated an image as an abrasive, although honest politician that has a clean record. This particular was in contrast with the Workers’ Party, which has been largely blamed for the vast bribery schemes of the past decade as well as a half.

For many voters, the biggest concern has been violent crime. This particular past year, Brazil averaged 175 murders a day, surpassing its previous macabre record.

Mr. Bolsonaro, who insists in which he will be the only candidate tough enough to stop criminals, has posed often for photos with his fingers pointed like loaded pistols. With his unfiltered comments as well as amateur videos on social media, he offered ready solutions for the country’s problems: He wants to make the item easier for citizens to own guns as well as for the police to shoot criminals.