Monday, March 12, 2007

Polls still show hope for Royal

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has not has an easy time in the polls. Recent surveys show that not only is consistently losing to Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round, but that the UDF's Francois Bayrou is almost equal to her in the first round.

But other numbers show that not all is lost. First of all, roughly 40% of the French say that they can still change their minds on who they are voting for, a remarkable number for so late in the campaign. Expectations also count. Although 47% of the French believe Sarkozy will eventually win, as of March 3, 16% still believe that Royal will win, far above the 7% who believe that Bayrou will ultimately triumph.

Perhaps most important is who the French hope will be elected president. Again as of March 3, 29% hoped for Sarkozy to win, 23% for Royal, 15% for Bayrou, and 7% for Le Pen. Although Le Pen's numbers will have risen, this is still lower than the percent of votes he is getting in the first round. Some people are voting for him, but don't necessarily wish that he is the eventual victor.

Again, signs are not encouraging for Royal, but the fundamentals have not yet turned completely against her. But the longer Bayrou stays level with her in the polls, the more people will believe in his eventual victory. And in politics, expectations and appearances are sometimes as good as reality.

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