Merkel in trouble after election debacle for her pro-refugee stance

BERLIN - A humiliating state election defeat for Angela Merkel in her own backyard on Sunday and another drubbing that looms in two weeks in Berlin are casting an ominous shadow over the Chancellor's hopes of winning - or even running - for a fourth term in 2017.
Analysts expect Merkel to weather the storm brewing over the debacle in the rural state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on Sunday, where her Christian Democrats (CDU) fell to a shocking third place behind the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the upstart anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
But the chancellor, whose towering approval ratings had long carried her party to victories at the polls over the last 11 years, has suddenly turned into a liability amid a frightening fall in support. Conservatives, who feel they have a lock on power after ruling the country for 47 of the last 65 years, are blaming Merkel's pro-refugee stance for their mounting losses.