BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right party appears poised to win today's elections in Germany, which would put her in place to become one of postwar Germany's longest-serving political leaders.
If polls prove accurate, Merkel, 59, would win another four-year mandate to lead what has become, under her watch, Europe's most powerful economy. Her top challenger, center-left candidate Peer Steinbruck, spent his final days on the road trying to convince voters that Merkel has failed to exert real leadership in Germany since she was first elected in 2005.
The campaign has been marked by controversy over U.S. spying on European soil and dustups over whether German society is becoming less fair to its most vulnerable groups.
If Merkel were to serve another four years at the top of her political system, her longevity in office would lag behind only Konrad Adenauer, the man who rebuilt Germany after World War II, and Helmut Kohl, Merkel's political mentor, who oversaw the reunification of West and East Germany.