A not-so-crazy election season in Germany

The campaign posters have been up around Germany for weeks and the main candidates are traversing the country speaking to voters — but Germany’s 2017 federal elections, expected to be Angela Merkel’s toughest campaign yet, are actually shaping up to be a little bit boring.

Much to the chagrin of journalists and political junkies here, election season has been decidedly devoid of drama: with Merkel’s CDU holding a decisive first place in the polls, it’s hard to imagine an outcome later this month that doesn’t involve her remaining chancellor.

I wrote about that this week for The Atlantic, looking at just how much Merkel’s political position has improved and solidified in the last six months and some of the reasons why.

There are still a few possibilities for late-breaking surprises, of course: an uptick in refugees could raise the fortunes of far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), or hacked Bundestag emails could be released and and reveal something shocking. But otherwise, the fight for Merkel’s political life that some saw possible earlier this year looks like it won’t materialize.

You can read my piece here.

Campaign posters in Berlin, August 2017

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