Right now today here in Germany, the Merkel camp of the CDU/CSU team is leading with numbers of roughly 34-percent of the national polling against the new Schulz-led SPD team of roughly 26- percent (they were at 21-percent two weeks ago).
Most people will agree that the Schulz gimmick and trendy talk by the national news folks....has hyped up the SPD a good bit. The fallout? In a couple of weeks....most Germans will wake up and ask the question....what exactly is different from the Gabriel-led SPD of December....compared to the Schulz-led SPD of February. The answer is that all of the strategy and platform gimmicks are exactly the same....just a new guy in a different suit. That's it.
The scenery from March onto the end of September when the election comes? There's no scandals in Merkel's past twenty-five years....amazingly enough. For Schulz? He has only two issues....an early alcohol period which he resolved and moved on in life. The second issue is a fair amount of income which took as the EU boss (roughly 100,000 Euro), which was tax-free anyway, but he hasn't laid out the money or the way it came to him (nothing illegal).
The chief strategy for the SPD? I'm generally in the belief that blame for something will be delivered upon the US doorstep (US, Trump, or Snowden accusations), and Merkel ends up with a fair amount of 'crap' on her doorstep, while Schulz just blazes on with a anti-US, anti-Trump, etc....scenario. My belief is that the US will end up with base closure announcements by late summer and both Schulz and Merkel end up trying to explain how NATO continues on (it won't).
So, the problem left is the scenario of if Merkel loses. Few Germans really grasp that all of the program work has been done by the SPD, Green Party and Linke Party.....for the three to form up the next government. If Merkel loses.....there's zero chance that the SPD (thus winning) will go to a SPD-run government with the CDU. It just won't happen.
Happiness over a SPD-Green-Linke government? If you pose this to a hundred SPD members....I'd take a guess that twenty-percent of them absolutely don't want this three-way government to exist and it'll only produce big problems later on.
This three-way government would have split up various cabinet posts among the three parties. The Linke Party would end up with either the vice-chancellor position, the foreign minister job, or finance minister job.
If you went to a pub with a hundred working-class Germans....they'd mostly just shake their heads because they can't see how the combination of the three would work.
The pro-immigration of the three? That's a curious problem. The SPD lately has put a fair number of comments up that major changes have to occur, and a fair number of failed visa applicants have to leave Germany. There's been comments by a couple of the bigger players of the Linke Party that the current migration mess needs to be resolved in a different manner. The Greens? No, they hold the Merkel-vision close and believe that no changes should occur, although more cops being hired is not a problem.
The idea that the three can come together on a clear immigration policy to make the public happy? I wouldn't give it great odds. The public will figure out this weakness of the three-way left-of-center government option, and in the month prior to the election.....ask a lot of stupid questions.
The closer you get to the "If Merkel Loses" scenario.....the more aggravated (I think) that the public will become over the option. As much as they'd all like some new leadership and some new direction.....there are simply not that many options open. In the end....Merkel likely wins because the alternate scenario is to complicated to support.