Rarely do German journalists sit down and really talk over election numbers and the breaking point where the public is shocked.
So, let's look at the current polling of the CDU. When you see the state-run TV folks talk about this.....it's always a CDU/CSU poll item. They currently project at 34-percent nationally (some polls go up to 37-percent.....some down to 32-percent).
That really means that the CSU of Bavaria is cranking up 8.5-percent and the CDU nationally (15 states) is cranking up around 25.5 percent.
Right now, that's sufficient to win. Polls are giving the SPD nationally around 21-percent.
What happens if the Berlin and Mecklenberg elections go badly for both the SPD and CDU?
Let's go to a different outcome in the 2017 national election where the CDU by itself can only manage 23-percent, and the Bavarians get their normal 8.5-percent. What if the AfD Party managed to swing 25-percent and actually get more votes than any one single party?
By the book, the CDU and CSU arrangement is currently one single party.....they would still win.
Let's go and hurt both the SPD and CDU via the five upcoming state elections, with some terror-events mixed in, and negative criticism by the public.....with the CDU getting only 16-percent nationally and the SPD also dropping to around 16-percent. A stronger AfD vote of around 26-percent (mixed with 20-percent with the Greens).....would then allow the AfD to be the winner of the election (even with the CDU/CSU votes combined).
Could the CDU really sink that low? I'll point out the numbers for both the center-left and center-right parties in Austria in the past national election. Both got 11-percent each. It was a massive let-down but it demonstrates the public lack of confidence in either to fix immigration issues.
With two or three extremely good showings in the state elections of the five coming up.....the AfD could cause people to discuss problems and expect real solutions.
So when you start to see the AfD cross national polling of 16-percent, onward to 20-percent.....it's at that point where you need to grasp that it's just not that far for them to outmaneuver the CDU and win a national election. It's doesn't mean they really win, because they'd have to form a coalition, and it's just about impossible to see any other party willing to partner up with them (at present). An eventual outcome of the 2nd and 3rd place winners to form up? Maybe......but it'd only lead to a marginal government for four years and a large segment of society expecting progress which cannot come via this coalition.
Numbers do matter.