13 Nov

Alignment of candidates with the federal government plays a big role in the debate about the 2020 municipal elections on Twitter

Updated 15 de December, 2020 at 3:40 pm

  • From November 4 to 10, 288,900 posts were identified in association with President Jair Bolsonaro on Twitter, including both criticism and support for the measures taken by the Federal Government and maintaining the nationalized nature of the debate;
  • Most of the posts focused on identifying which candidates have the president’s support or those antagonistic to his positions.

The candidates’ positions regarding the federal government mobilized the debate in the final stretch of municipal elections on Twitter. Between November 4 and 10, 288,900 posts were identified on the network in association with the government and President Jair Bolsonaro, according to a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP).

Most of this debate focused on identifying, among the candidates for mayor and for city counselor in different cities in the country, those who are aligned with or supported by the President, and those who are willing to fight or weaken the support for Bolsonaro in their municipalities. A portion of the debate also took the opportunity of this year’s election to make predictions about a potential attempt to re-elect Bolsonaro in 2022, putting in perspective the chances of potential competitors, such as Luciano Huck, Sérgio Moro, João Doria (PSDB) and Ciro Gomes (PDT).

Main terms used in the pro-Bolsonaro debate of the 2020 municipal elections
Analysis date: November 4 to 10

Source: Twitter Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

As the 1st round approaches, supporters of Jair Bolsonaro intensified their vote requests for candidates who have the president’s declared support or who would be willing to act as a Bolsonaro supporter in their cities; others have made accusations against opposition candidates. There was a large repercussion of suspicions about the reliability of the Brazilian electronic voting machines, based on controversies about the recent US presidential elections, which were not substantiated; some users requested the return of the printed voting in the country, In addition to #bolsonarotemrazão (“Bolsonaro is right” – 25.1 thousand mentions), #bolsonaro2022 (14.9 thousand mentions), and #fechadocombolsonaro (“I’m with Bolsonaro” – 5.8 thousand mentions), other frequent hashtags were #votoimpressosim (“yes to printed voting” – 50.4 thousand mentions) and #votingimpressoem2022 (“printed voting in 2022” – 29.4 thousand mentions).

Main terms used in the anti-Bolsonaro debate of the 2020 municipal elections
Analysis date: November 4 to 10

Source: Twitter Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

On the other hand, the portion of the debate opposing Jair Bolsonaro called on the population to use their vote to defeat pro-Bolsonaro candidates in this year’s municipal election – even if this means choosing candidates more clearly identified with the left wing. The president’s opinions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the development of vaccines against the disease, are among the main arguments used by these profiles to mobilize the opposition.

In addition, based on the results of the recent U.S. presidential elections, many users tried to predict that Jair Bolsonaro will be defeated in a potential attempt at re-election in 2022. The hashtags leading this part of the debate are #bolsonaroéopróximo (Bolsonaro is next” – 78.4 thousand mentions), referring to Donald Trump’s defeat in the United States -, #forabolsonaro (“out Bolsonaro” – 34 thousand mentions), and #bolsonarogenocida (“Bolsonaro is genocidal” – 19.9 thousand mentions).