The most recent survey conducted by Vox Populi for the Unified Workers' Union, or CUT, reveals that 59 percent of the Brazilian population consider former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva to be a political prisoner after he complied with an arrest warrent against him earlier this month few days following a Supreme Court ruling against his appeal earlier this month.
Another 58 percent believe that he still has the right to run for the presidency in October despite his conviction on corruption charges, a case many legal experts and observers attribute to a salacious mainstream media campaign coupled with lawfare, followed by his imprisonment.
The Vox Populi poll went further, showing that Lula continues to occupy first place, with 47 percent of voter intentions, in this year's presidential race. It's an increase in four points from the last poll taken in December.
Coming in at second place is congressman Jair Bolsonaro. Having proposed restoring military rule during his political career, he has also been quoted as saying that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet "should have killed more people.” Moreover, he has said, “Women should earn less because they get pregnant" and "I'd be incapable of loving a homosexual son."
The poll also revealed that 52 percent of respondents believe that Sergio Moro, the judge who convicted Lula on corruption charges, treats the former head of state more harshly than other defendents. It's an increase in 12 points from the last poll taken in December.
The survey was conducted in 118 municipalities between April 11 – 15.
Despite his conviction and imprisonment, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted, not only by Vox Populi, but also Ibope, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.