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As Bolsonaro Cuts Into Lula Lead, Battle for Key State Heats Up

Minas Gerais is a political bellwether and marketers’ paradise.

President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are battling for Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, a state where no elected president has lost.

President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are battling for Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, a state where no elected president has lost.

Photographer: Ana Caroline de Lima/Bloomberg

Inside the top-floor apartment where Rosangela Cosenza gathers her brood on weekends and holidays in the central Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte, chatter and laughter flow across a large living room. With plates of the local cheese bread specialty, pao de queijo, and cups of dark rich coffee, three generations crowd onto sofas and armrests, talking over one another about family and friends.

Lately, it’s all politics all the time, as the country of 215 million prepares for a fateful election on Oct. 30 between President Jair Bolsonaro and his opponent, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. For Rosangela, the choice couldn’t be clearer: "The only situation in which I would stop talking to a family member is if they voted for Bolsonaro."