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Angela Merkel Races Ahead in Polls
Angela Merkel Races Ahead in Polls

Angela Merkel Races Ahead in Polls

Angela Merkel Races Ahead in Polls

Challenge from the left’s new savior Martin Schulz fades among voters content with economic success.
Not long ago, he was seen as a bearer of hope, not just for his own party, Germany’s Social Democrats, but for the whole of the embattled European left. He was nicknamed “Sankt Martin”, the man who had the potential to topple Angela Merkel from her throne after almost 12 years and bring a wave of fresh ideas that would reinvigorate a political landscape turned staid by her long-term presence.
Martin Schulz, 61, was even being looked at closely by Jeremy Corbyn’s advisers at a time when the Labour leader was struggling to mobilize support. They marveled at how he had burst on to Berlin’s political stage and was inspiring a new generation of young voters, while encouraging those who had abandoned the party to return in their thousands, The Guardian reported.
Now, with six weeks to go until Germans go to the polls, Schulz is trailing Merkel miserably and already appears to be settling for a seat on the Bundestag opposition benches. “The SPD candidate is toiling hard, but no one is taking any notice,” wrote leading commentator Heribert Prantl in an editorial for the Suddeutsche Zeitung.
The polls show Schulz’s SPD trailing Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance by about 14%, having been almost neck-and-neck just a few months ago. Polling analysts are not so much blaming Schulz’s campaign, which has seen him off on an energetic tour across Germany at the same time as Merkel has been happily relaxing in the South Tyrol, but on the strength of his opponent’s brand, the sense of reliability she exudes, and the continuity she will offer a Germany that is on an economic high.
The trust she inspires was reinforced last week by pictures of Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, wearing the same outfits they have worn for many years in a row, while they always visit the same hotel and stay in the same room.
Prantl says the decision to vote for Merkel is the equivalent of a gambler who is happy to break even. “People are still satisfied with ‘being in the black’ with Merkel,” says Prantl, “because in a world that is topsy-turvy and being ruled by so many crazy people, they’d quite like to keep her, simply because she’s not mad, but capable and experienced.”

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