29 Jul

Left-wing widens its lead with more than 53% of the profiles in the debate about presidential hopefuls in July

Updated 15 de August, 2022 at 10:51 am

  • With a strong influence of artists and mobilized by the support of singer Anitta to Lula, the left-wing group grew in volume of profiles and interactions;
  • Bolsonaro’s support group and the group associated with the third way saw a drop in profiles and interactions compared to June;
  • Bolsonaro’s personal profile leads in interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok; Ciro leads on YouTube;
  • After many weeks of decrease since his debut on TikTok, Lula’s plays in his channel on the platform took off and placed him at the lead last week.

In a month marked by a strong influence of artists in the debate about presidential hopefuls, the group supporting Lula’s candidacy grew in volume of profiles and interactions. Those were the findings of a survey by the Department of Public Policy Analysis at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV DAPP), which identified more than 125.3 million interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls Jair Bolsonaro (PL), Lula (PT), Ciro Gomes (PDT), André Janones (Avante) and Simone Tebet (MDB) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok between June 27 and July 24.

Driven by a strong campaign organized by profiles aligned with the government, the debate about security had a sharp increase, with reports of an alleged association of the PT with criminal factions. The group associated with the left wing had a strong influence of artists, especially considering the declaration of support made by singer Anitta to former president Lula. André Janones showed a significant level of reach on Facebook and TikTok, and was the presidential hopeful with the highest volume of interactions outside his group on Twitter, establishing bridges with the left-wing group. In turn, Bolsonaro consolidated his lead on Facebook and Instagram.

Map of interactions

Map of interactions in mentions to presidential hopefuls in the debate about the elections on Twitter
Period: June 27 to July 24

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Left wing – 53.79% of profiles | 30.43% of interactions
Group mobilized mostly by artists and left-wing politicians, particularly the presidential hopeful Lula, commenting on Anitta’s support for Lula and highlighting love and hope as part of Lula and Alckmin’s electoral campaign. In addition, the posts exalted the creation of the Transparency Portal and criticized the amount of secrecy requests made by Jair Bolsonaro in order to omit information about himself and his allies.

Right wing – 33.91% of profiles | 51.08% of interactions
Group mobilized the right-wing influencers and politicians, especially @jairbolsonaro, publishing measures taken by the federal government. The posts mention potential improvements for the Brazilian people, emphasizing: (1) reduction in the unemployment rate; (2) reduction of the ICMS rate on fuels, which will be managed by the governors of each state; and (3) publication of information associating the president’s image with the supposed “truth” and “freedom”.

Third way ‒ 5.66% of profiles | 9.83% of interactions
Group driven by the profile of @cirogomes and supporters associated with the third way, commenting about Ciro’s official candidacy for the presidency with the Democratic Labor Party (PDT). In addition, the posts show the presidential hopeful’s position about reelection, sharing his National Development Plan (PND) as well as videos with criticism of Lula and Jair Bolsonaro. In addition, the group posts statements indicating the candidate’s strategies and administrative skills, particularly regarding the economy and the reduction in fuel prices.


Evolution of profiles and interactions in the political fields
Period: June to July

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


Major tweets inside the groups in the map of interactions
Period: June 27 to July 24

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP

Outside the bubble


Analysis outside the bubble of presidential hopefuls on Twitter
Period: June 27 to July 24

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


Tweets with the highest volume of interactions outside the bubble
Period: June 27 to July 24


Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • Isolated in his bubble, Bolsonaro reached a little over 0.1% of the interactions with profiles in the left-wing group and 0.1% of the profiles associated with the third way. These interactions were mostly focused on Twitters in which the president shared measures taken by the federal government, such as the reduction in fuel taxes and the advancement of works;
  • With no relevant engagement outside of his network, the posts made by the former president Lula were shared by little over 2% of the profiles in the right wing and 2% of the profiles associated with the third way. This interaction happens through salutations to supporters (with mentions of his daily life) and criticism of public data management by the current Brazilian president;
  • With a low level of interaction outside his bubble, Ciro Gomes has 6% of his interactions mobilized by profiles in the left-wing group. His posts with the highest ability to break the bubble talked about the possibility for harmony in the interaction between politics from different spheres, and also condemned recent cases of aggression against women by public figures;
  • The third way candidate Simone Tebet showed a relative ability to break her bubble, with 10% of her interactions happening in left-wing profiles. She interacted outside her network by praising the respectful relationship she has with Ciro Gomes, condemning cases of sexual harassment attributed to the former president of Caixa, and congratulating the former president Itamar Franco for his birthday;
  • With no consolidated network, Janones maintained a more significant level of interaction outside his bubble. Most of the interactions made by the third way candidate (62.5%) happen with profiles in the left-wing group, calling other presidential candidates to keep faith to democracy and responding to attacks against him by Bolsonaro.




Evolution of topics in the debate about the 2022 presidential election on Twitter
Period: June 27 to July 24 | Aggregated per day

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • Public security remained the topic with the most interest on the platform. The murder of a PT supporter during his birthday in Foz do Iguaçu (PL) by a supporter of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) was the major topic in the discussion. Left-wing profiles condemned the decision by the Federal Police that the crime was not politically motivated. In turn, right-wing profiles attempted to break the association between the murderer and the president’s image, and reinforced the idea that the PT sympathizes with criminal organizations;
  • Measures taken by the federal government to halt the increase in fuel prices and reduce taxes dominated the debate about the economy, particularly among profiles supporting Bolsonaro. The profiles criticizing the government attacked the Kamikaze Bill, seen as disrespectful of the public budget and as an electoral maneuver by the president;
  • Reports of rape during a delivery procedure by an anesthetist in São João de Meriti (RJ) prompted debates about violence in health care. This debate was also mobilized by accusations against parties and candidates. While profiles criticizing the government claimed there was fraud and misappropriation of funds from the Brazilian Universal Healthcare Program in several regions in the country, conservative profiles condemned the alleged defense of abortion and legalization of drugs by left-wing parties and candidates, especially Lula and the PT.

Interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls

Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Twitter
Analysis period: June 27 to July 24 | Aggregated per week

Source: Twitter | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • Jair Bolsonaro maintained the lead in terms of engagement on Twitter, with 7.19 million interactions in a little over 220 posts (an average of 32.4 thousand shares per tweet). In his major posts, the president lamented the alleged lack of stronger penalties for rapists, referring to the case of the anesthetist in the Baixada Fluminense, and announced the reduction in fuel prices;
  • With 6.07 million interactions in 375 posts, Lula’s engagement on the platform reached around 16.1 thousand interaction per tweet. The former president focused on sending optimistic messages to his supporters regarding the elections in October 2022, as well as thanking and commenting on the declaration of support to his candidacy made by singer @anitta;
  • With an average of 6.2 thousand shares per post, Ciro Gomes’ engagement remained stable on Twitter. His highlights were messages condemning Bolsonaro’s attempt to question the Brazilian electoral system facing a diplomatic body and the murder of a political activist by a Bolsonaro supporter in Paraná;
  • In her major posts, Simone Tebet praised the friendly relationship she has with Ciro Gomes as a demonstration of democracy and respect and criticized the polarization and hatred promoted by Lula and Bolsonaro. She particularly condemned the murder of a PT supporter, Bolsonaro’s attempt to discredit the electronic voting machines in a meeting with ambassadors, and Lula’s statements regarding harassment reports against the former president of Caixa.


Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Facebook
Analysis period: June 27 to July 24 | Aggregated per week

Source: Facebook | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • President Jair Bolsonaro continued to predominate and show the highest volume of interactions among presidential hopefuls on Facebook. His major posts were mostly focused on associating the PT and former president Lula to crime and criminal factions such as the PCC, as well as projecting an image of himself in association with truth, the law, family and the fight against violence;
  • Lula remained in second place in terms of interactions on Facebook, publishing content highlighting the popular support he receives from artists such as the singer Anitta. The posts also commented on the visits paid by Lula and Alckmin to different cities in Brazil, highlighting the end of hunger and the better living conditions experienced by the Brazilian people during his time as president;
  • André Janones and Ciro Gomes fought for third place in the ranking of interactions, but Janones led by far, showing a large advantage and getting closer to Lula. Janones posted content stating that he fought for two years at the Chamber of Deputies to support the aid program Auxílio Brasil, celebrating its approval. He also defended the need for a universal income program as a possible plan for Brazil, and denied that this plan could be for his own benefit or a populist strategy.


Evolution of interactions in the profiles of presidential hopefuls on Instagram
Analysis period: June 27 to July 24 | Aggregated per week

Source: Instagram | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • Bolsonaro showed a significant lead in terms of engagement on Instagram, particularly with posts announcing his decision to reduce fuel prices. He also shared images of his participation in the March for Jesus in Espírito Santo and lamented the fact that the Constitution does not provide for a more severe punishment for rapists. July 11 saw the highest mobilization, with posts showing replies made by the president to attacks made by public actors targeting an alleged encouragement to violence or omission and connivance regarding the murder of a left-wing activist by one of his supporters;
  • Lula had little variation in the period analyzed, obtaining significant engagement on Instagram, with more than 5.47 million interactions in 61 posts. His posts that attracted the most attention were the declaration of support by the singer @anitta, images of a march supporting his candidacy in Bahia, and messages of peace and hope to his electors. He also expressed solidarity towards the family of the PT supporter who was murdered in Foz do Iguaçu by a Bolsonaro supporter;
  • The major posts made by Ciro Gomes in terms of engagement were his condemnation of the murder of the PT supporter in Foz do Iguaçu, replies he made to attacks against his attempt to become closer to the Christian electorate, and promises for the Brazilian economy. The highlight for André Janones was his celebration of the increase in the Emergency Aid, and the highlights for Simone Tebet were her confirmation of a respectful and tolerant relationship with Ciro Gomes, as well as her sharing of an image eating pastel and drinking sugarcane juice at a fare.


Evolution of views in the channels of presidential hopefuls on YouTube
Analysis period: June 27 to July 24 | Aggregated per week

Source: YouTube | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • YouTube remained the most balanced platform in terms of performance of the main candidates for the 2022 presidential election. This period was marked by peaks related to the candidates Ciro Gomes and Lula, while Jair Bolsonaro’s channel remained stable in terms of views;
  • The peak in Ciro Gomes’ channel happened on the week of June 27 and was prompted by campaign advertisements in which he made promises and projections related to fuel policies and the end of reelection in his potential administration. Another highlight was a video in which Ciro leveraged advance of the immunization schedule in order to build an image of himself as a vaccine against polarization;
  • Lula obtained a high volume of views on the week of July 11, with the publication of the video “Two sides – Which Brazil do you want?”, which had already been published by his allies in the launch event for his candidacy in May. Two short videos were also highlights. In the first one, the former president was filmed during a workout session, stating that he was ready for the elections. In the second, Lula danced during an event after talking about the declaration of support by the singer Anitta to his candidacy.
    Jair Bolsonaro kept his strict model of live broadcasts carried out on Thursdays. This format produced videos with more than 300 thousand views, but those are the only titles with high reach in his channel.


Evolution of plays in the channels of presidential hopefuls on TikTok
Analysis period: June 20 to July 24 | Aggregated per week

Source: TikTok | Elaborated by: FGV DAPP


  • TikTok has been the video platform with the most views. Although President Bolsonaro has the highest number of interactions since his debut (June 20), the former president Lula shows significant growth on the platform. Lula obtained the best performance among the presidential candidates last week, while the remaining candidates showed signs of decrease;
  • The video with the highest number of views for Lula (June 21) was a story told by a resident in Serra Talhada (PE) during one of his rallies, in which she praised the social programs implemented in the city, particularly the cistern program implemented in the PT administration;
  • The peaks between July 11 and 14 were not associated with any specific event. The video with the highest number of views for President Bolsonaro (July 14) was an attack against the singer Anitta and former president Lula, stating that he will ensure young people have freedom of speech on social networks. Interestingly, Bolsonaro used the hashtags #anittachallenge and #anitta as a strategy to achieve visibility on the platform.