Schroeder Down

German Social Democrats (SPD) lose historic election!

They will not be ruling the traditional SPD stronghold of North Rhine-Westphalia’s legislature for the first time in 39 years.

Gerhard Schroeder’s popularity is waning due to an abysmal economy in Germany. Yesterday his Social Democrat party lost big time in a regional race. They didn’t have a war to oppose this year to get attention off of the economic decline…

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s party called Sunday for national elections to be moved forward a year to this fall after it suffered a stinging electoral defeat in Germany’s most populous state, which the party had governed for almost four decades.

Schroeder’s Social Democrats won just 37 percent support Sunday in voting for North Rhine-Westphalia’s legislature, less than the 45 percent received by the conservative Christian Democrats, according to projections based on exit polls by ARD and ZDF television stations.

The center-left Social Democrats had run North Rhine-Westphalia, a western region of 18 million people that includes the industrial Ruhr Valley, since 1966. But a rise in unemployment and discontent over the chancellor’s efforts to trim the welfare state tested voters’ patience in the party’s traditional heartland.

“Unfortunately, there is no reason this evening for the Social Democrats to celebrate,” party chairman Franz Muentefering said in Berlin. “This is a bitter defeat.”

Update: As I expected, German blogger Davids Medienkritik is all over this news.

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