Male, black, married, 46 years old and complete high school. This is the average profile of candidates running for this year’s elections.
This is the first time since 2014, when the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) started to collect race data, in which the average candidate is black. In the previous elections, the most common skin color was white.
For analysis, the G1 used the application data released by the TSE. There are, in total, more than 548 thousand candidates registered to participate in this year’s elections.
TSE numbers may still change, with data updated by the agency or even with rejection and resignation of candidates.
See the most common characteristics among the candidates who are running in this year’s elections – Photo: Amanda Paes / G1
Of all registered applications, 49.9% are from people who declared themselves to be brown or black. Together, browns and blacks form blacks, according to the IBGE classification. Whites represent 47.8% of the total. In addition, 0.4% declare themselves indigenous and another 0.4%, yellow. There is no race information for 1.6% of the records.
The proportion of black candidates in this year’s elections is the highest recorded by the TSE. Furthermore, it is the first time that whites are not more than 50% of the candidates. Therefore, the average profile of candidates changed from white to black.
- Proportion of black candidates in the 2020 elections is the highest ever recorded; for the first time, whites are not the majority
Experts say that more and more Brazilians are declaring themselves black, which ends up being reflected in the candidacies.
“Brazilians are becoming more aware of their color. (…) When individuals receive education, they can strengthen themselves and embrace black identities, ”says Andrew Janusz, assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Florida.
In addition, UFMG professor of political science Cristiano Rodrigues states that, in recent years, there have been “several movements that have led to an increase in black candidates”. “One of them is the Marielle effect. It has become a symbol and has motivated several black people to enter politics.”
As for the other characteristics, there was not much difference in relation to the average profile of the candidates of the last municipal elections, in 2016. The candidates are predominantly married (51%), with complete high school (38%) and with an average of 46 years.
In addition, the most common occupation is that of a farmer. As there are many registered occupations, however, the data is more fragmented in this case. Thus, even though it is the most common, the profession of farmer was declared by only 6.8% of the candidates.
Regarding gender, 67% are men and 33% are women. The female percentage, in fact, is very close to the minimum established by law for the quota of female candidates that must be met by the parties, of 30%.
It is also worth remembering that, according to the IBGE, women correspond to more than half of Brazilians (52%).
Brazil x 2020 elections
See country comparison with candidates in relation to gender
Font: IBGE e TSE
According to Polianna Santos, professor at PUC Minas and president-director of the Associação Visibilidade Feminina, despite the low percentage of female candidates, this year’s elections bring changes.
“We may not identify a quantitative change, as the percentage of female candidates remains at 30%, but we can see a qualitative change from having real applications, with material conditions, due to the financial quota”, he says.
Like the quota for female candidates on party lists, the financial quota reserves a part of the resources for female candidates.
- Even with a record of candidates for councilor, the percentage of women running does not increase in the capitals and remains close to what is required by law
Santos points out, however, that there are still many structural problems and prejudices against women in politics.
“There is a cultural issue of thinking that a woman’s place is at home, and not occupying a space of power in politics. So she is sung, despised, an object of mockery. When she is elected, they talk about her clothes, her body ”, she says.
Different profile depending on the position
The profile of the candidates, however, changes considerably in some aspects depending on the position disputed. While the average profile of candidates for councilor follows the general average, those of candidates for mayor and vice mayor have other degrees of education, occupations and races.
While the majority of candidates for councilor are black (51%), the majority of those who run for mayor and vice-president are white (63% and 59%, respectively).
For the 1st time, whites are not the majority of candidates, according to TSE data – Photo: Guilherme Pinheiro / G1
In addition, candidates for mayor and vice are more educated: the most common level of education among them is that of a college degree. Among candidates for councilor, the most common is having completed high school.
Another difference is that of occupation: the most common among candidates for the municipal executive is that of businessman, while that of farmer has a higher percentage among those who run for the legislature.
There are other points that, even without changing the profile, are different among competitors. For example, there are many more men among candidates for mayor (87%) than among candidates for councilor (66%). The former are also “more” married (68%) than the latter (50%).
“The main reason behind these differences between the two, Executive and Legislative, is that, in the Legislative, the councilors have more seats in dispute. This allows the profile of the candidates to be more diverse. It is easier for people to be elected” says Lucas Gelape, a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of São Paulo (USP).
The researcher also points out that the profiles of candidates for mayor and vice mayor are more similar to those of deputies.
“They are more educated and with occupations such as that of businessman and lawyer. Councilman, no. Councilman shows more diversity, even more proximity to the population,” says Gelape. “And, in fact, the position of councilor is usually closer to people. A significant part of the councilors’ job is to serve the population, to speak to people.”
Gelape states that this proximity, or even representativeness, is important for the production of public policies and also for the perception of the electorate itself, which perceives itself to be more represented or not, depending on the characteristics of the politicians.
In addition, he also says that the differences in the data reflect the fact that the position of councilor is usually the beginning of the political career of many.
“[Ser] councilor is not the only gateway into politics, but it is an important entry. These data reflect this a little, from candidates more similar to the population, showing that this gateway seems easier to access to the population. ”