Chancellor Angela Merkel faced challenger Peer Steinbrück in their only TV debate before German elections. The winner remains unclear. Analysts and pollsters say the debate will have only a marginal effect on the vote.
Just a half hour after the end of the TV "duel," as it's being called in Germany, it was already clear who had won. Not only were several opinion pollsters busily interviewing over 1,000 viewers, Deutsche Welle had two experts watching the two politicians' performance. Jörg Abromeit is a rhetoric trainer and head of a rhetoric academy in Bonn. Jürgen W. Falter, a professor of political science at the University of Mainz, has been watching elections for 40 years.