Eight years ago Angela Merkel stared gloomily at the election results with disbelief when her party crashed to 35.2 percent of the German vote, seven points below the opinion poll forecast.
Her poll lead melted away again on election day four years later, though her conservatives stayed in power despite their worst result since 1949. Indeed her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), have fallen short of forecasts in the last six elections.
They are leading again as the Sept. 22 vote comes round, but that humbling record explains why Merkel is not letting up, with 56 campaign stops in the month before voters give their verdict.
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