Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

If the topic were not so serious, one could speak of the Holy Corona in Bavaria as the new patron saint of the CSU. Because the virus or the way the Bavarian government dealt with the pandemic has brought the CSU back to where it sees itself: to the top. With 49 percent approval, the Christian socialists would currently get the absolute majority in the Free State according to the Bavarian broadcasting trend of Bavaria. At the present time, they still have to rule with the help of free voters. This large increase in votes is due to the politics of Prime Minister Markus Söder in the past few months. Before the corona crisis in January, approval for the CSU was 36 percent.

It is obvious that the way Söder acted in the Corona period met with widespread approval from the population. Even with the SPD supporters – the party is at least in opposition in Bavaria – the approval of the state government’s crisis management is 100 percent. Obviously Söder’s fatherly leadership style was well received, starting with strict admonitions and measures and now promising to loosen up in slices with the good behavior of the population. It is a well-known psychological connection: feelings of fear promote the need for security. And while the younger ones are less concerned, many are still afraid of being infected with the virus and refrain from beer gardens and vacation trips.

At such times, the government benefits and the opposition doesn’t really have much to report. The approval of the SPD in Bavaria drops to a historic low of seven percent. Social democracy is about to drift into insignificance in the Free State. According to the survey, the Greens remain at a solid 20 percent, the AfD was even able to grow and stands at seven percent. The FDP and the Left Party would each miss the entry into the state parliament by three percent. The free voters, currently the ruling party, also lost their approval and, after a drop of three percentage points, would now have to fear five percent to enter the state parliament. Her economics minister Hubert Aiwanger had tried to distinguish herself from Söder in terms of loosening the corona, which did not lead to applause everywhere. His unused 90,000 mops that he bought at the beginning of the corona crisis are also remembered. You have to know that the voters of the free voters are actually meat from the flesh of the CSU, the return to the Christian Social Democratic election cruiser is not so difficult.

Söder is in any case the new sun king of Bavaria and made this known to the public when Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the castle on Herrenchiemsee on July 14th. Everything was fine: the blue sky, the golden carriage, the corners of Söder’s mouth.

Crisis management in the corona crisis was also a political show for the Merkel office. Recall how the later Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt mastered the flood disaster in Hamburg in 1962 and took a long time from the bonus. With his current approval, Söder is a rock that cannot be circumnavigated when it comes to appointing the candidate for chancellor for the Union. 77 percent of voters in Bavaria would like his candidacy. Corona has pushed the topic into the background, but has also served as a qualification course. Söder emphasizes, of course, that his place is in Bavaria. It is not dishonest to point out that if the fear of corona diminishes, the approval of the CSU may decrease, especially if the feared economic consequences arise. So the question of the chancellor’s candidacy will simmer a little before him, at least from a Bavarian perspective.