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Elections in Brazil: the pollsters, the most notable defeated by their mistakes

They all said that Lula da Silva won by a large majority. They marked him until the last hours of the election.

A remarkable development of the Brazilian elections is the notorious failure of the main Brazilian pollsters who, in a homogeneous group, predicted a sure and consistent victory for former president Lula da Silva.

Hours before the election, two of these companies, the prestigious Datafolha and its competitor IPEC, assessed that the PT leader practically prevailed in the first round. by gathering 50/51% of voting intentions.

All the rest of the research companies made the same mistakes. The discussion had focused on whether or not there was a ballot.

This election has been a particularly difficult challenge for these companies. They must track down a huge country, with even security difficulties in some cities like Rio de Janeiro.

Bolsonaro supporters in Rio. Photo AFP

One of the reasons for these complications is that the government of Jair Bolsonaro prevented from carrying out the update census in 2020. So the basis with which the measurement institutes explore electoral behavior, make their evaluations and measure by age level, income, sex or race is twelve years old.

According to specialists, one of the most significant problems is the economic evaluation of Brazilian society. In Brazil, poverty is measured according to how many minimum wages the individual or family accesses. An indicator to round the survey it is the economic division in society.

This allows the institutes to review, as if they were steps, the different levels of Brazilian income and from there detect how each sector votes and their preferences.

The IPEC (Inteligência em Pesquisa e Consultoría Estratégica) calculates that approximately 57 percent of all current voters receive around two minimum wages, about 400 dollars, insufficient to support the current expenses of a family.

Lula voters in São Paulo.  AFP Photo

Lula voters in São Paulo. AFP Photo

But other companies reduce that percentage to 38%, a significant difference. This is very important because a very central part of the vote for Lula da Silva is in those impoverished or low-income sectors. There are also differences on the segments with the best income, for example with five or more minimum wages. For some it is 22 percent of the population, for others it does not reach 15%.

The problem is that none of these companies clarified these deficiencies. On the contrary, they behaved with such a level of assertiveness that they generated a common reaction from the press. Also of the politicians who arranged their campaign around those numbers that the Bolsonaro camp assured at all times that they were wrong.

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