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Why did Brazilian polls get the election so wrong?

The question laid down by the polls in the lead-up to Brazil’s Sunday election was: can former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva manage to win the presidency outright? But when votes started being counted, the results showed a very different picture.

On the eve of Election Day, readings from the most renowned institutes in the country, Datafolha and Ipec, predicted a 14-point gap separating Lula from President Jair Bolsonaro. In the end, Lula got the lead of just five points.

For some of the most closely-watched gubernatorial races, the miscalculations were even more significant.

In Bahia, Datafolha had…

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