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Angela Merkel Party Down After State Election Flop, Poll

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ANGELA MERKEL PARTY POLL
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a ceremony during President Joachim Gauck offially dismissed outgoing German Minister of the Environment Norbert Roettgen and appointed new Minister of the Environment Peter Altmaier at Schloss Bellevue palace on May 22, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) | Getty Images

BERLIN -- A new poll finds support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives has fallen after an embarrassing election defeat in Germany's most populous state.

The Forsa poll for Stern magazine, released Wednesday, put support for Merkel's Union bloc at 31 percent – down four points from the previous week.

That left it four points ahead of the main opposition Social Democrats but neither has enough support for a majority with its preferred coalition partner.

Forsa says parties' support drops after election defeats but support for Merkel herself remains solid.

Merkel's conservatives lost heavily to the Social Democrats May 13 in North Rhine-Westphalia state. Merkel fired her environment minister, who led their much-criticized campaign.

The poll of 2,002 people, conducted May 14-18, gave a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 points.

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