RIO DE JANEIRO  | A rise from marginal lawmaker to presidential front-runner

RIO DE JANEIRO  | A rise from marginal lawmaker to presidential front-runner

RIO DE JANEIRO  — As recently as two months ago, few people in Brazil other than Jair Bolsonaro’s most ardent supporters believed the far-right congressman had more than an outside shot of winning the race to lead Latin America’s largest nation.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had been ahead in the polls for a year despite a corruption conviction and a jail sentence that began in April.

Even though Bolsonaro always placed second in the polls, his support hovered around 30 percent and analysts said he had likely reached his ceiling.

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