Sunday, January 28, 2007

Polls pummel Royal campaign

New polls are reinforcing the belief that some French are rapidly losing faith in Segolene Royal's "participative campaign".

57 % of the French estimate that the election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy is more "solid" and 45% that it is more "credible" that that of Ségolène Royal, but the socialist candidate is judged nearer to the concerns of the French. 57% of probed estimate that the qualifier of "solid" applies better to the campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy that to that of Ségolène Royal, against 25 % which think the opposite.

In addition, 52 % find the campaign of candidate UMP "precise" (against 23 % which chooses Royal), 45 % find it "credible" (31 % for Royal) and 39 % estimate that he proposes new ideas (33 % for Royal). On the other hand, 40 % of probed find that it is the socialist candidate who is closer to their "concerns" (38 % choose Sarkozy) and 42 % find her "modern" (38 % for Sarkozy).

The new numbers with regard to the "closeness to concerns" and to the candidate's "modernity" should be the most worrying to the Royal camp right now. Her general election numbers show that she can sustain campaign gaffes and still poll close to 50%. However, much of the strength of her campaign has been based on the strength of her personality and reputation, which has represented a mixture of unity, freshness, and change. If the French begin to see her as any old politician (think Sarkozy), then her poll numbers may never have a chance to recover.

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