A nationwide poll released Wednesday by Datafolha shows former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with a strong lead in this year’s presidential race but with little power to transfer votes in the event he is disqualified. The poll shows Lula, candidate of the leftist Workers’ Party (PT), with 39% of voter intentions ahead of October elections. Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court, however, is widely expected to disqualify Lula, who is serving a prison term for corruption. In the event Lula is disqualified, his likely replacement as PT nominee, Fernando Haddad, polls only 4%. The poll showed the foll owing initial results: Lula, 39%, right-of-center Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, 19%, environmentalist Marina Silva, 8%, centrist candidate Geraldo Alckmin, 8%, left-leaning candidate Ciro Gomes, 5%. With Lula removed from the ballot, the poll shows the following results: Bolsonaro, 22%, Silva, 16%, Ciro Gomes, 10%, Alckmin, 9%, and Haddad, 4%. According to political scientists, the poll shows Bolsonaro, a former Army captain with an aggressive law-and-order platform, with little ability to expand his base. In the absence of Lula, his votes are widely distributed, with Marina Silva and Ciro Gomes the biggest beneficiaries with Haddad trailing badly. Political scientists have long contended that the PT’s power comes mainly from the charismatic Lula. In his absence, the party loses much of its support.
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