Opinion poll says Schroeder party trailed the opposition

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats trailed the main opposition by 10 percentage points even as support for them increased in the fifth opinion poll in a row before the Sept. 18 election.

Backing for the Social Democratic Party increased 2 percentage points from last week to 32 percent, according to the survey of almost 5,000 voters carried out from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5 by market researcher TNS Emnid for the Morgenpost newspaper. The survey was conducted mainly before the televised debate between Schroeder and opposition leader Angela Merkel two days ago, reports Bloomberg.

Twenty-five years ago Mr Reagan, challenging President Jimmy Carter, asked Americans: "Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than four years ago?

"And if you answer yes to all of those questions, then I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. If you don't agree … then I could suggest another choice that you have."

Mr. Schroeder, who has been in power since 1998, has been hurt by his failure to reduce unemployment or galvanise the ailing economy.

Klaus Uwe Benneter, the SDP secretary, said: "Mrs Merkel is imitating the tricks of the arch-conservative Mr Reagan," informs Telegraph.

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