This is an odd election coming up in Germany in 2013.
First, the CDU is probably at a peak of popular sentiment, but it won't draw more than roughly forty-four percent of the national vote. Some folks would even say it's closer to thirty-eight percent. To "win" in the real sense of the world....you have to build a collation deal with at least one other party. It's the German way, and it's been this way for well over 100 years.
Second, the Pirate Party had some momentum a year ago....today....likely will carry less than five percent of the national vote. That means under the Bundestag rules....they won't get to enter the Bundestag and be part of any collation deal. You have to have five percent of the national vote.....to get into the 'big-house'.
Third, the SPD has pinned it mighty hopes on a fairly good show for the liberal voters of Germany. But their choice for Chancellor probably isn't a great magnet for massive votes. Polls are split on where they stand, but most folks think they might be lucky to pull thirty percent.
Fourth, the Linke Party and the Greens....might both pull at least ten to fifteen percent of the vote. Nether the SPD or the CDU will work any collation deal with the Linke Party, but they are both talking up deals with the Greens.
Fifth and final....the FDP Party might have used up all their momentum four years ago. Some polls show them to be lucky in getting five percent of the national vote.
So, for an American....it's a cliffhanger of an election, and you just don't know how things might form up at the end.