Brazil's Incoming President Enjoys Strong Support, Poll Shows

(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is backed by the vast majority of Brazilians, according to a public opinion poll published less than three weeks ahead of his inauguration.

Roughly 75 percent of the population believes the incoming president is on the right path, according to an Ibope survey published on Thursday by Brazil’s National Industry Confederation, or CNI. Sixty-four percent expect his government to be good or great, while 14 percent said it will be bad or terrible.

The poll offers one of the first snapshots into Bolsonaro’s popular support as he prepares to be sworn in on Jan. 1. The former Army captain won a commanding victory in October with a hard-line stance against crime and corruption. Still, he has riled many with remarks against women and minorities and nostalgia for the country’s military dictatorship.

“Even those who didn’t vote for Bolsonaro are optimistic or somewhat optimistic,” said
Renato da Fonseca, the survey’s executive manager.

Brazil's Incoming President Enjoys Strong Support, Poll Shows

The survey was carried out before news that Brazilian tax authorities were investigating deposits made into the bank account of Bolsonaro’s wife by the former driver of one of his sons, Senator-elect Flavio. The president-elect said he “may have erred” in failing to declare those funds to tax authorities.
Investors are betting Bolsonaro will make good on promises to boost Latin America’s largest economy by selling off state-controlled enterprises, cutting debt and passing some form of pension reform. They have been encouraged by his cabinet nominations that include an economic team packed with graduates from the University of Chicago, which is known for its neo-liberal teachings.

The incoming administration’s top priorities should include improving health-care services, creating jobs and attacking corruption, according to the poll.

The Ibope poll surveyed 2,000 people in 127 municipalities between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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