Much as French politicians are rallying behind centrist Emmanuel Macron over the far right-wing Marine Le Pen, so too is Le Pen's own National Front party acknowledging the impending electoral doom of their candidate.
In the aftermath of a presidential debate in which two-thirds of the respondents believed Le Pen had lost to Macron, Le Pen's own niece and fellow National Front lawmaker Marion Marechal-Le Pen tried to lower expectations for election day, according to a report by Bloomberg. Even though she made it clear that "we can still win," Marechal-Le Pen also argued that receiving 40 percent of the vote in the runoff election would count as "an enormous victory." Her position is that, even though Macron would still be president, the National Front Party would be well-positioned "to be the opposition or perhaps even the majority" in the National Assembly elections next month.
The most recent poll by OpinionWay has Macron ahead of Le Pen by a staggering 22 points. As Harry Enten from fivethirtyeight.com points out, the only way for Le Pen to win would be is if there was an "enormous, historic polling error" artificially inflating Macron's numbers.
While Le Pen needed a knockout against Macron in their Wednesday debate, the result was anything but. Le Pen made a number of controversial comments, from saying she hopes Macron doesn't have a bank account in the Bahamas (for which Macron has filed an alleged slander complaint) to attributing the opposition to her campaign as a sign that "the elites don’t accept that the people try to eat at the table of power."
Even Le Pen's own father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, described the debate as a tie and said his daughter "lacked stature."
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