The government's assessment



Commentary on the survey carried out by the Institute for Democracy and Democratization of Communication (INCT)

Jair Bolsonaro has been isolating himself in Brazilian society. The new survey by the INCT – Instituto da Democracia allows us to say something more about this. The first point to highlight is that only 49,2% of those who voted for the current president in 2018 today rate his government as excellent (18,6%) or good (30,6%). In other words, the question that best demarcates fields of opinion among Brazilians is no longer the one that refers to the 2018 vote, but the one that asks about the government's assessment.

When we crossed the data, the correlation between the government's assessment and issues such as (a) support for a military coup, (b) the closure of Congress, (c) the presence of military personnel in the current government, (d) imposition by the STF limits government action, (e) what to do if Sergio Moro's accusations turn out to be true, (f) the assessment of demonstrations calling for the closure of Congress and/or the STF, or (g) the Bolsonaro's performance in fighting COVID-19 is two to three times stronger than the correlation between the vote in 2018 and the same issues.

The general data of the government's assessment are: Excellent (8,5%); Good (15,7%); Regular (25,5%); Bad (13,6%); Terrible (36,7%). The table below allows you to go a little further by crossing the excellent, good and regular responses with some survey questions.


Assessment of the Bolsonaro government
Great Good Regular
From 1 to 10, they give Bolsonaro a score equal to or greater than 6 98% 88% 45%
Agree that a coup d'état would be justified in case of a lot of corruption 59% 49% 35%
They consider it justifiable that the President, when faced with difficulties, closes Congress and governs without Congress 56% 39% 15%
Agree that the presence of the military in government is good for democracy 78% 62% 36%
They think that even if the accusations made by Moro are true, Bolsonaro should remain in government 83% 61% 35%
They consider demonstrations for the closure of Congress to be normal in a democracy 81% 72% 66%
They disagree that the STF imposes limits on the government 77% 59% 36%
Agree with Bolsonaro's role in the pandemic 73% 49% 22% *

*There is the option depends (14%). Those who disagree with the action add up to 64%.

The first line provides important information: less than half (45%) of those who assess the government as fair give a score above 6 for Bolsonaro. In the other questions, it can be seen that, with the exception of lines 2 (coup d'état) and 6 (demonstrations), the difference between the percentages of those who assess the government as good and regular is significant, being between 23 and 27 points. On the other hand, it is in the evaluation of Bolsonaro's performance in the pandemic that the greatest distance between the percentages of excellent and good is observed: 24 points. This, without a doubt, is a point where the government seems extremely vulnerable. And, as we know, the problem is only going to get worse.

Finally, what about the hard core of Bolsonarism? An idea can be provided by crossing the government's assessment and the score given to Bolsonaro. As the grade varies from 1 to 10, the size of this nucleus will vary, depending on the point we adopt on the scale. If we cross the percentages of great/good with those who give Bolsonaro a score equal to or greater than 6, the hard core will correspond to 22% of the surveyed universe. Going up the batten and taking the grades 7, 8, 9 or 10 as a base, we will have, respectively, 21,2%; 19,9%; 14,6% and, finally, the crème de la crème, 11,4%. An alternative is to keep the batten in grade 6 and check the percentage of those who, in this group, disagree with the STF imposing limits on the government or who consider that Bolsonaro should remain in government even if the accusations made by Sérgio Moro are true. In both cases, our hard core will be around 15% of the universe surveyed – a level similar to that found when we crossed the excellent/good assessment with a score equal to or greater than 8 for Bolsonaro.

In this core, 56,6% are men, 41,3% are evangelicals and 50% have a family income between 3 and 10 minimum wages. The disproportion is evident since these same groups correspond to 45,7%, 24,4% and 33,1%, respectively, of the total number of respondents. The core is also disproportionately composed (always in relation to the group of respondents) by white people, between 24 and 45 years old and who have completed high school or not – but in these cases the differences are smaller than those mentioned above.

*Carlos Ranulfo Melo He is a professor at the Department of Political Science at UFMG.


The survey “The Face of Democracy in Brazil” carried out 30 telephone interviews between 05/2020/05 and 06/2020/3.1, with a margin of error of 95%. The XNUMX% confidence interval. The research is part of a set of investigations on representation, participation and public opinion within the scope of the Institute for Democracy and Democratization of Communication (INCT). O Survey 2020 was preceded by others held in 2018 and 2019.


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