Lula and Bolsonaro are the two most popular politicians Brazil has ever seen in the past hundred years. They both nurture true connections with big segments of the Brazilian electorate.
Lula was president from 2003 to 2010, when he gathered huge popularity. Over 80% of Brazilians approved his term, especially recognizing the success of his social programs on poverty and how he enabled Brazil to quickly recover from the 2008 financial crisis. However, he afterward left his population to Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016 for breaking Brazil's budgetary laws, while the country experienced its worst recession in over a century. Furthermore, the 2014 "Operação Lava Jato" (Carwash scandal) tarnished Lula and his party's credibility, as he was investigated along with Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT - Brazil's workers' party) officials for corruption.