And the reason why she could is because her public relations campaign of dediabolization of the party is yielding fruit that will show up in the runoff round of the voting.
The consensus of political scientists is that in electoral systems like that in France, and also Louisiana, and recently, California, where it’s everyone in the pool for the initial round of voting, then the top two face each other the runoff, voters have an affirmative mindset in the opening round and a defensive mindset in the runoff. Meaning that they vote for who they really want or who is most like them in the opening, then vote against who they fear more in the runoff.
In previous election years, the problem for JMLP and then MLP, and the FN in general, is that there are always enough French voters who affirmatively want either person or the party to get them either first or second in the opening round, but the media-establishment-((())) jihad against them means that way many more voters fear J/MLP-FN than the “mainstream” left or right party, meaning we flame out in the runoff. MLP’s PR effort has that in mind, to get people to fear the FN less to give it a puncher’s chance in the runoff, and at the same time, trying to get people to fear the “mainstream” parties more.
This was the permanent lead anchor around David Duke’s ankle. (Remember, Louisiana.) Enough affirmative support to make the runoff, but way more fear of him always to lose in the runoff.