Is Brazil ready for Bolsonaro?
Down in Brazil, the voters finally got to vote, and Jair Bolsonaro almost won the presidency on the first round. You need 51%, and he got 46%.
He proved the polls wrong.
We now move to the second round, and he looks strong, according to David Unsworth:
Sunday, October 7, was an earthshattering moment in Brazil, with the "Trump of the Tropics" riding high, as he buoyed unknown Congressional candidates into power, and swept out establishment politicians of leftist and centrist parties.
Dilma Rousseff, the former president, couldn't even get elected to one of Minas Gerais' three Senate seats.
An unknown candidate named Wilson Witzel rocketed to the head of the pack for governor of Rio de Janeiro, while Bolsonaro's son Eduardo Bolsonaro became the most-voted deputy in Brazilian electoral history, racking up 1.9 million votes in Sao Paulo state.
I agree with Unsworth that Bolsonaro is in a strong position. He clearly has touched a nerve with his views on crime and privatizing some state enterprises. He is also connecting with the evangelical voters, who fear that "family values" are under siege from the culture.
My small disagreement with Unsworth is that Bolsonaro is fighting a "Deep State" and a voter bloc in the north largely dependent on government services.
Furthermore, the left is in full panic mode, basically telling Brazilians that Bolsonaro will impose military rule, shut down the assistance checks, and turn into some Brazilian version of General Augusto Pinochet.
I am optimistic that he will win the second round. At the same time, I hope each and every one of those 46% who voted in the first round come back for a second time. And I hope they persuade a neighbor or co-worker who voted for someone else to change his vote to Bolsonaro.
Let's see what happens. Nevertheless, the Brazilian Trump is shaking things up, like the real Trump up here.