Guilherme Boulos' strategy

Image: Wallace Chuck


Perhaps what should worry Guilherme Boulos is that rejection is too low, a sign that he is bothering less than he should

The “idiot of objectivity”, which Nelson Rodrigues spoke of in a famous chronicle, was the journalist who refused emotion in his text. That reported the imminence of a civil war, for example, as if he were talking about a tea party at the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

But there is a most serious idiocy of objectivity in Brazilian journalism – and the Folha de S. Paul is champion. It's the idea of ​​taking half a dozen pieces of data and, based on them, drawing up a “law” capable of predicting the future.

When it suits, of course.

Yesterday, the Folha de S. Paul predicted that Guilherme Boulos' candidacy is doomed to failure: “Only Maluf and Pitta won with such high rejection”.

A Folha de S. Paul takes data from your polls for a total of eight elections and, based on that, establishes any rule. Okay, Guilherme Boulos is chipped.

I remember that, in 2010, a reporter from the same Folha de S. Paul called me. Election time was about to begin and Dilma Rousseff was trailing in the polls. The agenda was: “no candidate who started election time behind his voting intentions has won a presidential election”.

I patiently explained that you couldn't generalize from just five previous elections. That Dilma Rousseff was a candidate who was still little known, but who represented the continuity of a very popular government. That election time would be the moment in which she would make herself known and strengthen her bond with Lula.

I explained, in particular, that situation analysis went far beyond voting intention research and, therefore, no matter what the Datafolha numbers were, Dilma Rousseff was the favorite to win the presidency.

The report came out a day or two later. I was not quoted – neither I nor any of the many political scientists who, I imagine, were interviewed until the journalist found someone willing to endorse the political law invented by the newspaper.

Is Guilherme Boulos' candidacy facing problems? Yes, face it. But the report from Folha de S. Paul It's ridiculous and specious.

The Datafolha numbers (to be read carefully, as always in the case of research of this type) are not good for the PSol leader.

If the survey is to be believed, the election is already starting to be polarized – Tabata Amaral's candidacy, which does not reach double digits, seems doomed to irrelevance. And then Guilherme Boulos needs to modulate his strategy.

With the city hall and state government machines working incessantly in his favor, Ricardo Nunes is consolidating himself as a name on the center-right, despite the rejection of his friend Jair Bolsonaro among the São Paulo electorate. He has room to grow, inheriting the votes of Kim Kataguiri, a fact that is unlikely to reach the polls. (Although Guilherme Boulos should keep part of the votes that will migrate from the Novo candidate when voters realize that the “Marina” candidate is not who they think.)

The problem is that the PSol candidate tries the old path of candidates on the left: going further to the right. He placed Marta Suplicy as vice-president, hugs the senator who took over Major Olímpio's seat, makes nods to managerialism, avoids “controversial” topics, reeks of “moderation”, incorporates the “broad front” speech in his more restrained register.

If the campaign is depoliticized, sealing, memetic, it simply follows the guidelines of the times in which we live. But it is impossible to hide the fact that the speech of “a city that values ​​life and family” could be on the lips of a candidate from União Brasil, MDB, Republicans, PL.

The fact is that this path almost inevitably leads to defeat. The insistence of the Brazilian left in following it, despite the usual results, is something that escapes my understanding – it is a topic for a psychiatrist, not for a political scientist.

Perhaps what should worry Guilherme Boulos is that rejection is too low, a sign that he is bothering less than he should.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic). []

Originally posted on the author's social media.

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