Brazil Next President Betting Sees Bolsonaro Banking On Trump
Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro is facing defeat in the 2022 Brazilian general election, according to political betting sites, as the populist ruler is struggling to keep pace with rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the polls.
But there is supposedly hope on the way for Bolsonaro, with reports that Donald Trump’s team is planning to help the incumbent remain in power.
Bolsonaro, 66, won the Brazilian presidency in 2019 and has proved a divisive figure in the country’s National Congress.
His supporters have backed his pro-business, lax-regulatory stance that has fuelled further deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and an over-reliance on coal power, while he is a poster boy for conspiracy theories over the dangers of coronavirus.
Bolsonaro was one of the few world leaders who actively campaigned against health authorities instructing populations around the globe to lock down as a means of combating the spread of Covid.
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Brazil Next President Betting
Citing the need to keep the Brazilian economy going, Bolsonaro has overseen the deaths of more than 617,000 people from the virus. And his popularity has since sunk so low that he is now 17 points behind Lula in the opinion polls.
The slump is indicative of Bolsonaro’s struggles to regain his initial popularity. Back in the summer he recorded his lowest-ever approval ratings and the odds of him winning the 2022 election widened to 17/10 (37% implied probability).
Since then Bolsonaro’s price has inflated further and he is now 4/1 with some leading betting sites to successfully retain the presidency. That suggests a 20% chance of him beating Lula in the election.
Trump Team Eyes Brazil
The next Brazilian election is scheduled to take place on 2 October 2022. More than 146 million voters will head to the polls and if one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote then they are elected. If no-one gets over half the vote, then the top two candidates will participate in a run-off election on 30 October 2022.
Bolsonaro has plenty of ground to catch up on Lula, the Workers’ Party leader who served as president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010.
The incumbent lost his polling lead on his rival in January this year, when Covid cases began again to skyrocket during the height of the Brazilian summer.
Since then Bolsonaro has tried to get back in the race, but there are reports he could seek help from further afield in order to prevent what looks like an inevitable defeat.
The New York Times report that Trump and his allies are “exporting their strategy to Latin America’s largest democracy” and have Brazil in their sights. They are holding high-profile rallies, branding Bolsonaro’s opponent's criminals and communists, and claiming already that the upcoming election could be rigged.
Stirring up suspicion in the government was part of Trump’s playbook and the former president even managed to continue the hostility towards Congress when he was in the Oval Office.
Whether Bolsonaro can ignite the same sentiment in the Brazilian public remains to be seen. But right now punters are wagering heavily of Lula winning the 2022 election, which means Bolsonaro’s price could float out further in the coming months.
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