An unidentified man casts his vote for the state elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg in Karlsruhe, southern Germany, March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
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Chancellor Angela Merkel's party braced for a backlash at key state polls Sunday over the German leader's liberal refugee policy, while the right-wing populist AfD prepared to scoop up the protest vote from angry voters.The CDU was bracing for one of its poorest showings in years, particularly in its traditional stronghold of Baden-Wuerttemberg, with a poll published Thursday by ZDF public television showing support plummeting by 10 percentage points to 29 percent – putting it for the first time behind the Greens – while the AfD snatched 11 percent.In Rhineland-Palatinate, where the fortunes of the CDU had been rising with the latest poll giving it 35 percent, the party is seen struggling to defeat the Social Democratic Party, scoring 36 percent.The AfD meanwhile was hoping to crack the 10 percent mark.In Saxony-Anhalt, where the CDU still commands a large lead with 32 percent, AfD has a stunning 18 percent, at the heels of the second-placed Left Party, at 21 percent.
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