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Jair Bolsonaro on June 19. He has expressed nostalgia for the dictatorship established after a 1964 coup, even commemorating the date. Photo: Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has begun sowing distrust in next year’s elections, alarming lawmakers and the courts alike.

Details: In speeches, Bolsonaro, a former military captain, has been questioning the integrity of an electronic ballot system that’s been in place since 1996 and suggesting he might not even allow elections to happen.

  • Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is currently the runaway favorite heading into the October 2022 contest.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court opened an investigation into the Bolsonaro government’s handling of vaccine contracts, and the Senate is holding hearings, which could lead to impeachment — something a majority of Brazilians support.

  • "Bolsonaro is facing an uphill battle, but it remains far too early to rule him out of contention," journalist Gustavo Ribeiro told Axios World.

The latest: Bolsonaro was taken to the hospital Wednesday with abdominal pains and hiccups, and will be under medical observation until Saturday.

Go deeper: Amid vaccine scandal, Bolsonaro threatens to reject election results

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden bombs with Manchin

Then-Vice President Joe Biden conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Sen. Joe Manchin in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call

President Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.