She is one of the world's most recognisable and influential politicians, having served as chancellor for the past 12 years.
Support for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and her Bavarian CSU allies slid to 36 per cent compared with 40 per cent in early August, according to a weekly Forsa poll published on Tuesday. Germans head to the polls Sunday.
But the 63-year-old chancellor would not be derailed from her stability-and-prosperity stump speech, telling the crowd that "the future of Germany will definitely not be built up through whistles and hollers".
"Macron is aware that he needs Germany and Germany is aware it has to work with France, and that France has to continue changing", Rittelmeyer said. Stick with me and all will be well.
The best they can probably hope for is to put more pressure on Ms Merkel's right flank and perhaps have an impact on some policies. No surprises. No bumps. But it's also too simplistic to say that it has unambiguously weakened her, in part because her rationale-"Wir schaffen das", or "We can handle it"-was an expression of the potential for action, rather than simple, open-armed humanitarianism". "Which is extremely appreciated by most Germans". Merkel knows this. It also helps her that her main political rival, Martin Schulz of the social democrats are growing electorally weaker every day.
"Although the AfD is highly unlikely to fare as well as the extreme right in France or the Netherlands, any relative success for the AfD will reflect badly to worldwide onlookers, given German history", said Mr Gerd Appenzeller of Berlin's daily Tagesspiegel. This would be a remarkable feat considering the number of crises - from the Greek debt crisis to the war in Ukraine to Brexit - that she has had to fend off.
The far-right, anti-immigrant AfD might actually become the third largest party in the country.
However, the far more sinister effect they are likely to have on German politics is to move the discourse further to the right by pushing mainstream parties to adopt more of their stances on immigration. To bridge the gap, Schäuble could take up the Eurogroup presidency, as Jeroen Dijsselbloem is set to leave the Eurogroup by the time the new Dutch government is formed (expected by the end of 2017). While many experts initially saw the party as taking votes from the CDU in national elections, new opinion polls show he AfD hurting the SPD.
Voters ardently opposed to Merkel have only two real options - the leftist Die Linke party and the AfD.The AfD, however, has public support in the areas that were once East Germany.
More likely is a result that leaves her either seeking an untried coalition with both those parties, or another "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats. "It may bolster Tomio Okamura and his Freedom and Direct Democracy party, but we will have to see how much". So if Merkel does cruise to victory this Sunday, what does it mean for Germany and Europe?
There was the ferocious French campaign and the surprising United Kingdom result. The longer that Germans looked at him, though, the less able they seemed to be to actually imagine him as Chancellor. German companies, principally carmakers, have several factories across Visegrad Group countries.
Gabriel told Russian broadcaster RT this week that not all AfD members or voters were Nazis, but the party has 'people at the helm of the AfD that are inciting people to hatred, that are trading in Nazi propaganda'. In the 2014 European elections they won 7.1% of the vote, granting them 7 out of 96 seats.
The willingness to cross ideological lines that were once considered unalterable is not unique to Merkel.
Fortunately, the economy is very strong and some expect Ms Merkel to push for reform to the European Union and the euro currency, while spending some of the nation's whopping budget surplus to better prepare her country for the digital future.