Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL), speaks during an interview. (Photographer: Andre Coelho/Bloomberg

Brazil's Bolsonaro Builds Large Lead Over Leftist Candidate

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro stands 18 percentage-points clear of his rival in the latest opinion poll ahead of the final round of the presidential election.

Bolsonaro won 59 percent of valid vote intentions versus 41 percent for the Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, in an Ibope poll published Monday evening. The survey also showed Haddad’s rejection rating now stands at 47 percent, compared with 35 percent for Bolsonaro. A Datafolha poll out last Wednesday showed the ex-Army captain had a 16-point lead over the former mayor of Sao Paulo.

With less than two weeks to go until the runoff vote Oct. 28, Bolsonaro is in a commanding position. No presidential candidate since the return to democracy has lost the second round after winning the first, and Bolsonaro beat Haddad comfortably Oct. 7 by 46 percent to 29 percent. The candidates will have equal TV and radio air time to make their case before the final vote, but it is as yet unclear whether they will face each other in a live debate. Bolsonaro was stabbed at a campaign rally on Sept. 6 and is still recovering from the attack.

Brazilian assets have moved in lockstep with Bolsonaro’s prospects of victory. Considered the most market-friendly of the two contenders for the presidency, Bolsonaro’s main economic adviser has spoken of his desire for sweeping privatizations. Yet the seven-term lawmaker himself has a statist voting record in Congress, and has expressed much more caution about selling off state companies.

The Ibope poll -- register number BR-01112/2018 -- surveyed 2,506 people Oct. 13-14 and the margin of error was plus or minus 2 percentage points. It was commissioned by local media organizations Estado and TV Globo.

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