West Germany: Racing Down to the Wire

As the campaign nears the end, Kohl's prospects improve

Helmut Kohl, 52, was suffused with optimism last week as he and senior election strategists huddled over breakfast in Bonn's chancellery. With only three weeks remaining until West Germany's March 6 national elections, the tall, affable leader was considering some heartening news. According to a poll published in the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Kohl's Christian Democratic Party and its ally in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, were leading the rival Social Democrats 49% to 42%. Those figures marked a 1.5% rise in the popularity...

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