Today, as expected, German voters handed Angela Merkel another four-year term. Less expected was the strong performance of the populist, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Exit polls anticipated the AfD would win more than 13 percent of the vote, becoming the first rightwing party since the Nazis to enter the Bundestag. On the Scoreboard, European populism and the migrant crisis, the AfD's defining issue, were higher ranking issues than the election itself, reflecting renewed concern in markets over rising populism.
Russian election meddling also surged on the Scoreboard this week. Though the AfD was the Kremlin's preferred party, Predata's signal analysis of online German- and Russian-language attention to various election-related subjects did not find evidence that Russia's influence campaigns swayed German voters.