The newly elected leader of the Christian Democratic Union, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has won the endorsement of 58% of respondents in a respected popularity rating by the weekly Der Spiegel, outranking current chancellor and former CDU chief Angela Merkel.
Her numbers have spiked by 16% in comparison to the poll, held in September before Angela Merkel declined to seek re-election.
Merkel, who passed the CDU leadership to Kramp-Karrenbauer, has come third with 48% in the recent survey.
However, first place remained with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, representing the Social Democrats (SPD), who once served as the vice chancellor and foreign minister to Merkel.
Another social democrat, incumbent Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has taken the fourth place with 45%, only one point above co-leader of the left-wing Die Linke’s parliamentary group Sahra Wagenknecht.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected to succeed Angela Merkel as the party leader at a party conference on December 7.