A Datafolha survey published Saturday showed former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva winning at least 35% of the 2018 presidential election’s first-round vote, up from about 30 percent in a poll held in June.
The poll had former environment minister Marina Silva, a likely candidate, far behind with 13% to 14% of voting intentions. Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial right-wing congressman who has been described in the U.S. media as the Brazilian Donald Trump and is already in campaign mode, fared a little better at 16% to 17%.
While Lula’s 35% showing would be shy of the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff, it’s still an impressive figure for a polarizing politician who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison and is out on appeal. The good news for Lula, however, was tempered by another Datafolha survey published Monday, in which 54% of respondents said he should go to prison.
Lula, who’s spending the week in Rio de Janeiro for a series of rallies and events intended to shore up his political base, blasted both surveys. According to Estadão, Lula said the first poll underestimated his support, which he pegged at 40%, while the methodology of the second poll was biased against him. And then he railed against federal prosecutors, daring his nemesis, Judge Sérgio Moro, to “produce evidence that a single real was embezzled [by him].”