Germany trend: Omicron fear is falling – Lauterbach’s most popular politician

Karl Lauterbach is the country’s most popular politician. Even Chancellor Olaf Scholz (both SPD) can probably benefit from this personnel decision. The – so far barely visible – Chancellor is also gaining ground in the Germany trend that Infratest Dimap has surveyed on behalf of ARD “Tagesthemen” and WELT.

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66 percent of the citizens surveyed are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Lauterbach’s political work. 60 percent with Scholz, who lands in second place (plus nine points compared to December). Why can you even name the two in the same breath? The new government is too young to claim that the head of government and his most important minister have become decoupled. In fact, Scholz has not yet been able to collect his own merits.

This is completely different than recently with Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU). One popular, the other unpopular.

Source: WORLD infographic

The current corona policy is also largely popular among the population. 42 percent think the measures are “appropriate” – a full 22 points compared to December. At that time, the public debate was dominated by fear of the Omicron virus variant.

Germany went into the fourth wave unprepared, it was also said. The rules haven’t changed that dramatically since then – except of course for the clubs and discos that have been closed or banned from dancing. But it seems as if the formation of a government and Lauterbach’s figure have changed the view of many citizens on Corona policy again. The fact that there are of course loud opponents of the Minister of Health must not be ignored.

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But the German trend also shows that politics, by continuing to rely on relatively strict measures, is still oriented towards a majority in the country. There is simply no majority in favor of lifting restrictions on allowing the virus to march through. Only 25 percent state that the current measures “go too far”. That is an increase of eight points, but there are still 31 percent who think that everything “does not go far enough”.

Source: WORLD infographic

Nonetheless, the fear that was expressed in the December figures is disappearing. 29 percentage points less are measured in the bar, which describes how many consider the measures to be insufficient. Perhaps more and more citizens are realizing that Omikron causes less severe clinical pictures: The proportion of those who have “worries” about new variants such as Omikron drops by nine points.

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Posterised or Pop Art styled Covid-19 Vaccination, coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic, virus,

Virus variant and booster vaccination

But there are still 51 percent who are concerned. At the same time, there are fewer than ever since July 2021. That this value was determined just at the beginning of the omicron wave, which was accompanied by some dystopias, may surprise you.

30 percent are still very worried or very worried about being infected. But 68 percent are no longer so much. Does that open the door for a different policy, should the Omikron wave show that the intensive care units are no longer overloaded? Possibly.

Source: WORLD infographic

Two thirds already support shortening the quarantine times for infected people and for contact persons. Resolutions on this should be made on Friday at the next Prime Minister’s Conference with Lauterbach and Scholz. Fears of not being able to be properly treated in the event of illness – regardless of the disease – also decrease.

The proximity of the East Germans to Russia

In addition to the corona policy, the German trend also asked about the second topic that has shaped government action to date: the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This shows that in the assessment of how to deal with Russia in this context, the well-known east-west divide has by no means disappeared.

51 percent of West Germans, but only 32 percent of East Germans, are in favor of tightening EU and US sanctions against Russia. This is understandable insofar as many East German companies maintain close relationships with Russia. Sanctions would therefore become noticeable in the population, for example through lost sales and possibly job losses. Stronger than would be the case in the west.

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After meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry

But there is also a greater understanding of the country in the east in general. 47 percent can “understand that Russia sees itself threatened by the West”. In West Germany it is 40 percent. Over the years, almost nothing has changed in this assessment in both East and West. The values ​​were already in these areas three years ago. Deviations remain within the statistical uncertainty. The division between East and West is firmly established here.

In another case, at least something happened over many years. The demoscopes rummaged deeply in the archive and found what they were looking for. In the list of the most popular politicians, a name appears that has not been there for a long time: Friedrich Merz, the future CDU leader. 32 percent of those surveyed are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with his work. That is three points less than in October 2004.

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BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 01: Friedrich Merz speaks during a debate between Norbert Roettgen, Friedrich Merz and Helge Braun, the three candidates seeking to become the next leader of the German Christian Democrats (CDU), in a livestreamed, townhall-style debate on December 1, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The three are competing to succeed Armin Laschet, who is making way for a successor following disappointing results in federal parliamentary elections last September. (Photo by Andreas Gora-Pool/Getty Images)

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