Supporters of Firebrand Bolsonaro Are ‘Proud,’ Brazil Pollster Says

(Bloomberg) -- Bravados such as brushing off slavery and gender pay gaps or honoring police for killing criminals have done little to sway voters of Jair Bolsonaro, the popular right-wing firebrand candidate in Brazil’s presidential race.

"Bolsonaro supporters are proud, they don’t hide their votes," Marcia Cavallari, the chief executive officer of polling firm Ibope, said in an interview. "His voters intentions are firm."

The conservative still has room to grow -- he has gained more than he has lost lately -- but his sky-high rejection rate may limit his advance too, according to Cavallari.

The latest Ibope poll showed 37 percent of voters reject the former Army captain. He had 18 percent of voter intentions, trailing only ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is unlikely to be allowed to run. Bolsonaro leads polls when Lula’s name is excluded.

Cavallari says strong support for Lula should give a boost to Fernando Haddad, who’ll likely become the Workers’ Party candidate if courts exclude Lula from the race, as is expected. With Lula’s endorsement, Haddad would have some 10 percent of voter intentions, ahead of more moderate candidates favored by investors. That figure will sway depending on whether Lula’s years of high growth or the recession experienced under his successor prevail in voters minds, said Cavallari.

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