Less than two weeks from Brazil’s second-round presidential election the final results are already in and Lula has won by a landslide even though the elections don’t happen before October 29, a Sunday.
To believe DataFolha, whose latest poll was released last night, October 17, the current occupant of the Palácio do Planalto will win with a 20-point advantage over his opponent, former São Paulo governor and doctor Geraldo Alckmin.
According to DataFolha’s survey, when only the valid votes are taken into account, Lula gets 60% of the votes while Alckmin is left with the remaining 40%.
This was DataFolha’s second poll since a TV presidential debate earlier this month that seemed to favor the opposition candidate who had gone on the attack against the president, raising several questions on corruption in the government that went unanswered.
In the previous survey, on October 8, the gap between the candidates was a more manageable 12%, with Lula getting 56% and Alckmin 44% of the valid ballots.
When all votes are counted including blank and spoiled ballots, the difference is 19% in favor of Lula. In this case, the president gets 57% of the votes and Alckmin 38%.
Just one week before, these numbers were 51% and 40%. Time hasn’t been kind to the opposition candidate who got 48.6% of the votes against 41.6% won by the ex-governor on the election’s first round.
The poll commissioned by daily Folha de S. Paulo and Globo TV heard 7.133 voters, between Monday and Tuesday, throughout 348 Brazilian municipalities. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.
Alckmin tried to minimize the results putting in doubt the reliability of the poll: "I believe that there are polls and there are polls. Let’s wait a little bit. We are going to get there the same way we did get to the runoff. I believe Brazil is not going to waste another four years."
On the other hand, Lula was in a celebratory mood during a walk in Rio de Janeiro. In a speech to Worker Party’s activists the president asked voters to simply ignore the polls.
Once again he compared himself to late presidents Getúlio Vargas and Juscelino Kubitschek and again criticized the elite. "The elite who persecuted Getúlio, Jânio and JK is the same who doesn’t accept me as president," he told the friendly crowd.
Lula also reiterated his charges that the opposition has plans to privatize state-owned companies if they win the elections. "Don’t let the toucans (PSDB party members) say that we are promoting terrorism. They have a predatory history. They only know how to sell not how to build. They seem more like a demolition company."
The president also said he was thankful for the chance to run in the second round. (He was sure he would win straight in the first one.) "God writes straight with crooked lines. The second round united the troops to defy this group who is against the people.
"Now we will debate ideas, programs for Brazil. They will have to explain why in 8 years they didn’t build a single university, while we built four," he said, adding: "We cannot rebuild in a mere four years a country they have been destroying for 500 years."