Amaral is part of a growing number of women who opinion polls show have recently warmed to Bolsonaro, a divisive candidate whose comments belittling rape and defending the gender pay gap have long alienated many female voters.
If the trend continues, some of the women who previously balked at the former army captain could help propel him to the presidency, and possibly a first-round victory on Sunday, pollsters and analysts say.
That prospect cheers investors who fear a return of the PT’s state-run policies, but terrifies Bolsonaro’s critics, who say his views echo those of U.S. President Donald Trump or even hardline Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
An Ibope poll released on Wednesday night showed Bolsonaro with a strong first-round lead over second-placed Haddad.
That survey and others indicate that a run-off vote between the two, which would take place on Oct. 28 if nobody clinches a majority on Sunday, would be close.
Bolsonaro’s support among women has risen some 6 percentage points in the last week alone, the polls suggest.
That is all the more surprising given it comes just days after his candidacy provoked the largest female-led street demonstrations Brazil has seen in decades.
Far from slowing Bolsonaro, a federal congressman who was hospitalized for much of September after being stabbed in an assassination attempt, the protests appear to have helped him, particularly among some women who viewed the young, progressive protesters as PT supporters.
A part of me is cynical, though, and presumes Bolsonaro was always winning and the pollsters just now are gradually moving toward the “real” number to maintain their credibility with the actual voting coming soon.