Children sleep as they wait in the port of Piraeus, after their arrival from the islands of Lesbos and Chios. AFP / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
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Gerd Mueller has voted for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) for over 40 years.Elections next month in this prosperous southern state, its wine-producing neighbor Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony Anhalt in the east will serve as a litmus test of Merkel's migrant policies ahead of the next federal vote in 2017 .In Baden-Wuerttemberg, a CDU stronghold for over 50 years before turning to a Green-led coalition in 2011 after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, polls put the AfD on 10 percent or more.In Saxony-Anhalt, a poll published this week showed the AfD overtaking the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel's coalition partner in Berlin, for the first time, a humiliation for a party that is girding for big losses on March 13 .In the third state, Rhineland-Palatinate, Julia Kloeckner, a charismatic 43-year-old former German "wine queen" who has positioned herself as a candidate to succeed Merkel one day, has seen her lead shrink in recent weeks.
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