Brazil poll shows Bolsonaro government approval sinks

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during a Soldier's Day ceremony, in Brasilia, Brazil August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) - The approval rating of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has plunged to 29.4% in August from 38.9% in February, according to a poll published on Monday that showed a majority of Brazilians are unhappy with his performance.

The CNT/MDA poll said 39.5% of those surveyed find his eight-month-old government bad or terrible, compared with 19% in February.

Disapproval of his personal performance as president surged to 53.7% from 28.2%, and approval fell to 41% from 57.5%, it said.

Bolsonaro is doing well fighting corruption, improving security and reducing the size of government, the poll showed, but he is bad on health, education and the environment, an area where he has been criticized at home and abroad for downplaying the severity of fires raging in the Amazon forest.

His worst actions to date, according to the poll, have been a decree easing gun controls, his offensive and inappropriate comments, spending cuts in education and the influence he has allowed his sons to have in his administration.

His decision to appoint his son Eduardo Bolsonaro as Brazil’s ambassador to the United States was considered wrong by 72.7% of the people polled. Only 21.8% though that it was his prerogative.

The Senate has yet to confirm his son amid growing resistance to the appointment.

The MDA poll commissioned by the transport lobby CNT surveyed 2,002 voters between Aug. 22 and Aug. 25 and has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

Reporting by Eduardo Simões and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Marguerita Choy