Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bayrou makes headlines

Francois Bayrou is making headlines now that he appears strongly placed to potentially enter the second round of voting this coming May. Even before knowning of the recent CSA poll putting him at 24%, The New York Times ran a long profile of Bayrou, including his history and present situation in the campaign. Interestingly, while Sarkozy is seen as the American candidate, Bayrou has many US connections as well.

On the plane back to Paris, Mr. Bayrou spoke in fluent English, noting that he had traveled throughout the United States, and that part of his wife’s family is American. (His wife’s aunt married an American soldier in China after World War II and settled in Des Moines. The families remain close.)

If he could live in the United States, Mr. Bayrou said, he would live in the open spaces of Montana; if he could vote in the 2008 American presidential election, he would hope to vote for Al Gore.

Bayrou has gotten another boost today will a poll of voters aged 18 to 29. According to the poll, Bayrou would only win 20% of the youth vote in the first round, but if he entered the second round, he would win 55% against Sarkozy and 54% against Royal. The article notes that this is somewhat paridoxical, because 53% of the young say that Sarkozy has a project for France, and only 45% judge the same for Bayrou.

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