CSU in Crisis What Went Wrong for Bavarian Conservatives?

For decades, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria has exerted outsized influence on Germany's national political stage. With state elections approaching on Sunday, however, the CSU finds itself embroiled in crisis. What went wrong?
A pin on a Bavarian hat depicting Franz Josef Strauss.

A pin on a Bavarian hat depicting Franz Josef Strauss.

Foto: imago / Sebastian Widmann
The Bavarian economy is doing well, but the CSU is not.

The Bavarian economy is doing well, but the CSU is not.

Foto: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/ dpa
The CSU is fond of macho, type-A personalities like Markus Söder. But the party is facing a stiff challenge from the Green Party on the left and the AfD on the right.

The CSU is fond of macho, type-A personalities like Markus Söder. But the party is facing a stiff challenge from the Green Party on the left and the AfD on the right.

Foto: PHILIPP GUELLAND/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
Foto: DER SPIEGEL
Katrin Ebner-Steiner, a candidate for the AfD in Bavaria

Katrin Ebner-Steiner, a candidate for the AfD in Bavaria

Foto: Armin Weigel/ dpa