2022 Brazilian Presidential Election Picks: Lula vs. Bolsonaro

  • BetOnline favors Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (-275) to ouster President Jair Bolsonaro (+185) from office
  • Recent polls suggest a run-off election will be necessary between the two candidates
  • Brazil’s first round of voting is scheduled to be held on October 2, 2022

After a fiery presidential debate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s lead in the polls over President Jair Bolsonaro is slipping with less than a month until October 2 election.

Will the two-term former president regain office or will Brazil’s far-right leader muscle his way into another term? Before we look at the latest odds, here’s where you can find the top 2022 Political Betting sites and our best bets on who will run for U.S. President in 2024.

Next Elected Brazilian President

Lula da Silva-275
Jair Bolsonaro+185

Lula leads the way

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is still viewed as a heavy -275 favorite to become Brazil’s next president. Yet, recent polls suggest he has little chance of winning the election outright on October 2.

According the latest Genial/Quaest poll, Lula is expected to get 44% support in a first-round vote against Bolsonaro’s 34%. This would not be enough to seal the deal in Brazil. A candidate must capture over 50% of the vote, otherwise the two top contenders head to a run-off. In this speculative run-off, Lula’s lead in the polls has also dwindled, but he’s still expected to take 51% of the votes against Bolsonaro’s 39%.

First televised debate gets fiery

In the nation’s first televised debate, Bolsonaro (+185) went right after Lula, who served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010. “Your government was the most corrupt in Brazilian history,” he said. The 67-year-old also branded his opponent an “ex-convict.” Lula was jailed on corruption charges in 2018, a conviction that was overturned by the Supreme Court last March.

In return, the 76-year-old leftist accused Bolsonaro of “destroying” the country and trashing his legacy after he helped lift tens of millions of people out of poverty.

Jair BolsonaroNext Brazilian President
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Can Bolsonaro make up ground?

Bolsonaro has seen improvements to his approval rate since passing welfare programs and measures to tackle inflation. After being as low as 22% in December, it has now climbed to 31%. His disapproval rate also declined from 53% to 42% over that same time period.

Nevertheless, this slight momentum is unlikely to carry him to victory over a man who left office in 2011 with an approval rating of 90%. Right now, all polls suggest Lula will win a second round of voting that’s scheduled for October 30. However, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Will Bolsonaro play the “Trump” card?

Taking a page out of the “Donald Trump Playbook”, Bolsonaro has questioned the transparency of Brazil’s electoral process and criticized the use of electronic ballots. The right-wing strongman even requested the military perform a parallel “public” vote count to validate the results.

And, lately, the self-proclaimed fanboy of America’s former president has held public rallies to complain about a vast “conspiracy” against him and a “rigged” voting system.

Bolsonaro said he views just three possibilities for his future: “prison, being killed or victory.” And that, if needed, he and his supporters “will go to war.”

A wager on Bolsonaro at +185 is a bet on a military coup or an insurrection. Instead, let’s hope democracy prevails in the world’s fifth-largest nation.

Next Brazilian President
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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