All that stands between Angela Merkel and a fourth term is six weeks of campaigning.
The German chancellor goes into the Sept. 24 election with strong personal approval ratings and a party lead of some 15 percentage points over her main challenger, Martin Schulz. Barring unforeseen upsets, her campaign team’s main worry is a repeat of her first bid for the chancellery, when a commanding poll lead was reduced to a single percentage point on Election Day.
As she returns from vacation in the Italian Alps, Merkel, 63, is intent on avoiding any sense of complacency: On Saturday, she’ll kick start a 50-stop campaign tour across the country. After 12 years in office that have made her a pillar of the global stability valued by German voters, the election looks like Merkel’s to lose.
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