(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Bloomberg
Rio De Janeiro: The race for Brazil's presidency will be very tight and it's too soon to say who'll emerge as the winner of the October 30 runoff, according to pollster Futura Inteligencia.
President Jair Bolsonaro's voters are more engaged than those of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said Jose Luiz Orrico, founder and partner at the firm. Endorsements being sought by the two candidates in the past few days are unlikely to pull many votes as politicians have less sway over a better informed electorate, according to him.
'People have a lot of access to information, and you have two very popular figures,” Orrico said in an interview. 'If you are going to vote for Lula, it's not because someone asked you to.”
Brazilian pollsters, which were already being criticized by politicians and financial markets for their dissonant findings ahead of the first round vote, came under renewed fire after largely underestimating Bolsonaro. Most major surveys had the incumbent at 36% to 38% of valid votes on the eve of the Sunday election, far short of the 43% he received.
Futura's surveys are among those which came a bit closer to Bolsonaro's actual standing. Their September 30 poll, commissioned by brokerage Modalmais, had the president at 40.5% of the valid votes -- which exclude those cast in blank or annulled -- and Lula at 43.6%. The former president ended up taking 48% of the votes on Sunday.
Earlier in the race, Futura was showing Bolsonaro ahead of Lula, a scenario which reversed in late September, converging with other pollsters' findings. The movement took place as voters seeking to have a single-round election migrated to the former president, Orrico said.
In-person polls, largely considered the 'gold standard” in Brazil, are facing problems amid voters' distrust and difficulties in reaching the wealthiest segments of the population, he added. That could become key in the second round as the Southeast region, the country's richest, will be critical to determine the winner of the race.
'The Southeast was decisive in the first round, and will be in the runoff too,” he said.
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