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May 28, 6:05 AM EDT

German poll: Lead for Merkel's conservative bloc widens

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BERLIN (AP) -- A poll of German voters shows Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc's lead widening as the main challenger Social Democrats continue to lose support.

The Emnid Sunday poll for Bild newspaper showed support for Merkel's bloc unchanged at 38 percent, while the SPD support dropped 1 percentage point to 25 percent. The SPD got a boost after nominating Martin Schulz in January as Merkel's rival for chancellor in September's election, but has slipped recently after several state election losses.

The pro-business Free Democrats and Greens both gained a point to 8 percent support, putting them at the same level as the Left Party, which dropped a point, and the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which was unchanged.

The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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