Brazil poll shows rising rejection of Jair Bolsonaro

The government of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro appears to be less popular. PHOTO: AP

BRASILIA (REUTERS) - The approval rating of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's government is dropping steadily and its negative rating is climbing, a CNI/Ibope poll showed on Friday (Dec 20), as his combative political style and a weak recovery weigh on his popularity.

The number of Brazilians that rate his government as great or good has slipped to 29 per cent from 31 per cent in September, while those that view it as bad or terrible have increased to 38 per cent from 34 per cent in the previous poll, the new survey said.

The right-wing government's positive rating had already declined in Ibope's four previous polls this year, falling from 35 per cent in April. Its negative rating has risen from 27 per cent in April.

"The continued drop in popularity is Bolsonaro's own doing. His way of governing and communicating is very aggressive and creates too much noise around the president," said Leonardo Barreto, head of Brasilia-based consultancy Capital Politico.

Barreto noted, however, that the poll commissioned by industry lobby CNI was carried out Dec 5-8, before recent data showing Brazil's economy is definitely on a positive recovery track.

It also polled opinions before the latest developments in a graft investigation of Bolsonaro's son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, that could undermine the president's credibility as an anti-corruption crusader, a key factor in his popularity.

Even as Bolsonaro's poll numbers have dwindled, he is still seen as a strong candidate for re-election in 2022 given a fractured opposition, intense loyalty from his strongest supporters and growing signs of a sustainable economic expansion.

Public confidence in Bolsonaro's governing style has dropped since he took office in January, the poll said. A majority of those polled, or 53 per cent, do not approve of the way he is governing Brazil, up from 40 per cent in April and 50 per cent in September.

Those who approve of his governing style has fallen to 40 per cent from 51 per cent in April and 44 per cent in September.

The number of Brazilians who said they trusted Bolsonaro has also dropped off, within the margin of error, to 41 per cent from 51 per cent in April and 42 per cent in September. Those who have no trust in him rose to 56 per cent from 45 per cent in April and 55 per cent in September.

The survey polled 2,000 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.

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