Merkel TV clash a draw, no game-changer: analysts
BERLIN (AFP) - A TV clash between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her centre-left rival has fired up a slow campaign three weeks before elections, but while snap polls judged it an unexpected draw, few saw it as a game-changer.
While popular Merkel has enjoyed a yawning poll lead for months, many observers gave points to her Social Democratic challenger Peer Steinbrueck for reinvigorating his campaign that got off to a slow start and was hobbled by a series of gaffes.
The conservative chancellor, who is seeking a third term in September 22 elections at the helm of Europe's biggest economy, appeared calm, composed and presidential, while Steinbrueck often went on the attack and showed occasional flashes of folksy humour.
"Chancellor and candidate, a duel among equals," headlined Die Welt daily, while the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called it a "one-all" draw.