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Brazil’s Presidential Election Will Likely Go to a Runoff, Goldman Sachs Says

(Bloomberg) — Brazil’s presidential election will most likely be decided in a runoff, despite recent polling showing front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva within striking distance of a first-round victory, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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As Brazilians prepare to cast their ballots Oct. 2, incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and his leftist challenger Lula are crisscrossing the nation trying to pry votes away from one another. Surveys released this week suggest the 76-year-old former president pulling further ahead and near the 50% threshold needed to win the election outright.

If a candidate does not win more than half of valid votes, the race will go to a runoff on Oct. 30.

A first-round Lula victory is not impossible, but as economists Alberto Ramos and Renan Muta noted in a report released Thursday, voting preferences are now well cemented. “Voters seem to have made up their minds about their vote much earlier than in previous elections: there have been uncharacteristically few undecided voters since mid-2021,” they wrote.

Further dimming chances of definitive Lula win next week, the economists pointed to polling that suggests the political base of Bolsonaro, 67, might be more energized, while “abstention rates may be comparatively higher among Lula’s supporters.”

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