Bolsonaro Wins 76 Percent of the NY Vote

Jair Bolsonaro (Photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil, Creative Commons license)

In Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday, Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party emerged victorious with a 10 percent lead over opponent Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party. Meanwhile, among New York’s immigrant and expatriate community, the far right-wing candidate received a whopping 76.4 percent of the 9,000 or so votes.

Documented‘s Felipe De La Hoz, who confirmed the tally with the Brazilian consulate, takes a look at why the community in New York went overwhelmingly for Bolsonaro, a controversial figure who has drawn comparisons to Trump and is known for his “caustic remarks.”

Popular former president — and political mentor to Haddad — Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is now in federal prison on corruption charges, and successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached. Simultaneously, the murder rate has been spiraling upwards, a fact that was successfully exploited by the Bolsonaro campaign to engender fear among its voting base, even with voters who themselves were not the targets of violence.

“The New York community has always been a bit conservative,” said Stephanie Mulcock, who immigrated to the United States from Salvador as a teenager and now runs Cidadão Global, a community-based organization serving and advocating for Brazilian immigrants.

In her professional circle, she said, people were disappointed with the results, but the larger cadre of Brazilian New Yorkers tended to be wealthier, more right-leaning and wanted a change. “The majority of the Brazilian community that migrates here is a bit more privileged than the communities you’re typically thinking about when you think of immigrant communities that are coming here,” she said.

Go to Documented to find out how the Brazilian community’s demographics and living in “the world’s epicenter of capitalism” may have factored into the lopsided vote result.

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