Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Poll Story

Focus, the German news magazine (which I often refer to) went out and had a poll taken across Germany via TNS Emnid (a polling organization).

They asked a simple question....would German voters across the nation (not just in Bavaria) consider voting CSU (the Bavarian conservative party which runs normally ONLY in Bavaria).

A quarter of the national voters said yes.

Before this, if you asked me to take a guess.....I would have predicated somewhere around 10-to-15 percent.  It is a bit of a shock.

For historical reference.  The national conservative party in Germany is the CDU.  Out of sixteen German states.....they run in fifteen of them.  The Bavarian state has the CSU, which is basically the same party, with a couple of platforms that go more conservative.  The German news media and intellectual crowd typically makes fun or writes up amusing pieces on the CSU....mostly as a way to slam them.

How much of the CDU national success is dependent on the CSU (Bavarians)?  This is always a good question.  Eight-percent of the national success of the CDU....comes from the Bavarians.  By itself,, the CDU was only able to churn up 37-percent of the national vote in 2013....the CSU had 8-percent.  3,544,000 voters came to support the CSU of Bavaria.

The thing is....Germans want an alternate way to slam Merkel and the current immigration strategy....which the CDU, the SPD, the Linke Party, the FDP, and the Greens are attached to.  The only alternate vote nationally?  The AfD folks, who are considered far-right extremists and beyond their negativity on immigration....they have a weak platform (or non-existent) for the next twenty-odd topics that would come up for political talks.

There's this thin line existing between the CDU and CSU.  It's a unwritten rule.....the CSU is a Bavarian creation and supposed to contain itself in Bavaria.  The CDU is a national creation and suppose to contain itself to fifteen of the sixteen German states.

What happens here?  Unknown.  This is a scenario that comes out once or twice a month and journalists know that there's a fair amount of research going on.

The biggest problem of the CSU, if they were going to go that they need an impressive face at the national level.  Right now.....their 'boss' is Horst Seehofer, who is a plus-minus kind of guy.  He's a big tall guy who can throw a few good arguments into the mix, but he's getting near retirement age and probably not pumped up enough to be a national figure.

The timing of this?  Well, here's the thing.....October/November is the next state election episode (two eastern German stats).  If you were going to get into the mix of things might want to make these two elections your first big step, in an effort to challenge the AfD folks.  But you'd have to find some players in the two states who were disenchanted CDU people and willing to quit join the CSU.  So far, no one has suggested any names or said anything much.  If you wait past this election....spring of 2017 brings three other state elections.  Those are mostly western states in Germany.

Could we end up in the November 2017 national election with a national CSU Party, which gets 25-percent of the vote and the AfD is marginalized back down to 5-percent?  That's probably the most accurate view of the situation developing.  Could the CSU win enough to push both the CDU and SPD out of the leadership position of Berlin?  Maybe.

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