Bolsonaro’s Disapproval Rating Soars During Amazon Fires

Rachel Gamarski

(Bloomberg) -- President Jair Bolsonaro’s disapproval rating jumped over the past six months as Brazilians opposed his health, environmental and educational policies, as well as the offensive comments that are often part of his communication style.

Bolsonaro’s personal disapproval rating reached 53.7%, according to a poll conducted by MDA between Aug. 22 and 25, when Amazon fires drew growing domestic and international scrutiny of his environmental policies. Less than a third of Brazilians disapproved of the president in February, when the previous survey took place. The percentage of the population disapproving of his government rose to 39.5% from 19%.

Eight months into his administration, Bolsonaro’s popularity has suffered from a prolonged economic malaise that has kept unemployment in the double digits. But his worst performance was recorded in the areas of health, environment, and education, according to the survey. Among his worst actions as president, respondents cited his decree making it easier for Brazilians to own a gun as well as his “inadequate and offensive” comments. The freezing of funding for education came third.

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Most Brazilians disapproved of the pension reform his government is pushing in Congress, and 72.7% of them considered as inadequate Bolsonaro’s plan to nominate one of his sons as U.S. ambassador.

Among his accomplishments, 29.6% of the respondents cited the fight against corruption and 27.5%, his security policies. Yet 22.4% said they saw no positive development at all.

“Jair Bolsonaro’s government is facing difficulties that have been perceived by the population, particularly related to the slow economic recovery,” said the National Transport Confederation, which paid for the survey. “However, Brazilians still expect that his government may be able to solve the country’s problems.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Gamarski in in Brasilia at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at, Walter Brandimarte

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