Trump Worries Germans More Than Putin in Poll of Election Mood

  • Poll suggests about three-quarters concerned about U.S. policy
  • Merkel to address security conference in Munich amid turmoil

Germans are more concerned about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies than they are about Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a poll.

The survey published Friday suggests that Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in Germany’s Sept. 24 election, has to take account of an anti-Trump mood among voters even as she seeks to maintain security and trade ties with the U.S. Merkel may elaborate on her stance when she addresses an international security conference in Munich on Saturday along with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump is viewed with concern by 78 percent of respondents in Germany, an increase from 62 percent in January, according to the FG Wahlen poll for ZDF television. Fifty-eight percent take a similar view of Putin’s policies, while 40 percent expressed no major concern about the Russian president.

The survey also offered further evidence of a bounce for Germany’s Social Democrats since the party chose former European Parliament president Martin Schulz, who has publicly criticized Trump as a security threat, as its candidate. Polls suggest that Schulz, nominated as Merkel’s main challenger in January, is now more popular than the chancellor, though his party remains in second place.

If Germans could elect the chancellor directly, 49 percent would choose Schulz and 38 percent would pick Merkel, according to the poll. That compares with 44 percent for the chancellor and 40 percent for her challenger in January. The Feb. 14-16 poll of 1,231 people has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Support for Merkel’s CDU-CSU party bloc declined 2 percentage points to 34 percent and the Social Democrats, currently Merkel’s junior coalition partner, rose 6 points to 30 percent, according to ZDF. The Left party dropped 3 points to 7 percent, the Greens declined 1 point to 9 percent and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany fell a point to 10 percent.

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