although the polarization between the president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) gives signs that it will be difficult to have another outcome for the presidential election in October, five months in politics is an eternity and there are still ways to go for alternative candidates. as it shows report by VEJA this week, in addition to the “neither Lula nor Bolsonaro” voter, the search for fringes of the electorate willing to change the vote for the president and the ex-president – around 20% for each, according to the most recent Datafolha, from March – is another strand to resort to in search of growth in research.
With names like Cyrus Gomes (PDT), João Doria (PSDB), Simone Tebet (MDB) and Luciano Bivar (União Brasil), there is no shortage of candidates for voters who have strayed from Bolsonaro and Lula – what is lacking, so far, is whoever stands out in this field. Campaign members point to the economic discourse, aimed at appeasing the population’s relationship with prices in supermarkets, butchers and gas stations, as a way to grow. The strategy is aimed above all at those who are discontented with the president, who are struggling with the price tag – after all, “it is the economy, stupid”, the key to a presidential election, as James Carville, strategist of Bill Clinton’s victorious US campaign in 1992, well defined it. .
The protagonist of PSDB advertisements on television, Doria has been hammering numbers according to which, under his management, despite the pandemic, São Paulo grew more than the average for Brazil under Bolsonaro. “The way is to present solutions to people’s problems, plans to reduce inflation, generate employment and fight hunger”, says the toucan’s campaign coordinator, Marco Vinholi. Simone Tebet sees a “social epidemic” as “the country’s real problem” after the coronavirus has cooled down. “We are dealing with an impoverished middle class that is taking out credit card debt not to travel to the Northeast, but to eat”, says the MDB pre-candidate.
Still in the economic field, there are those who direct artillery to both poles, like Ciro Gomes, whose marketer is João Santana, the guru of three successful PT presidential campaigns. “Increasingly, we have to deal with what affects people’s lives, their pockets, pointing out the incompetence of this government and the governments that in the last twenty years have generated inflation”, says the president of the PDT, Carlos Lupi. Pre-candidate of União Brasil, Bivar indicates following the same path. “One is an enemy of economic freedom and the other is an enemy of political freedom. They use different methods but get confused,” he says.
Despite efforts and strategies, there are still problems with the “third way”. Starting with fragmentation, which makes it difficult to identify voters willing to exchange poles for an alternative, and the inflexibility of names at the negotiating table. Isolated in the PSDB, Doria does not give up his ticket, as well as Simone and Bivar, whose party, União Brasil, disembarked from the “democratic center”. The toucan is still widely rejected by voters, the emedebista sees her party divided between Lulas and bolsonaristas and the cacique of União has the electoral clout mocked by coreligionists. In a move that showed a possible alternative construction, Ciro Gomes and PSD president Gilberto Kassab exchanged winks this week, but an alliance is seen as distant, for now.
There is also an alarming fact about the third way pointed out by the most recent Datafolha. While about 20% of Bolsonaro and Lula voters admit migrating to the other option, the numbers of 72% for Ciro and 76% for Doria indicate that, before thinking about expansion, it is necessary to withhold votes to avoid emptying the candidacies in favor of polarization.
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