Schulz has been revealed to be just as popular as Merkel
Eight months before the crunch vote, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) nominated candidate could oust the Chancellor out of the Bundestag and ruin her chances of a fourth term.
A survey revealed that 64 per cent of people consider Mr Schulz to be a good candidate and on par in terms of popularity with Angela Merkel.
Thomas Oppermann, from the SDP, said: “We have to make sure that we do something politically smart, something good with this which will satisfy people, which is what we will do."
Angela Merkel will be fighting to remain Chancellor in September
With me, there will be no Europe bashing. There will be no hounding of minorities
His supporters think that he has gained popularity because he is able to distinguish himself away from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany – Mrs Merkel's party.
The survey by ARD, a joint organisation of Germany’s regional public-service broadcasters, also revealed 48 per cent of people believe Mrs Merkel is trustworthy while only 30 per cent of people think that Mr Schulz is trustworthy.
Mr Schulz offers an alternative to Mrs Merkel, who has received a backlash over her lenient migrant policy, which has allowed around one million migrants into the country.
Angela Merkel in pictures
Tue, November 29, 2016
Angela Merkel has served as German Chancellor since 2005 and Leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000. We take a look at her political career in pictures.
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the gala for the 200th anniversary of Werner von Siemens on November 29, 2016 at the historic headquarters of Siemens in Berlin
Schulz is more of an outsider to German politics
Mrs Merkel has also faced fierce criticism from opponents and members of her own path following a series of terror attacks by extremists posing as migrants.
The German Bild newspaper has said that Mr Schulz’s strengths were Mrs Merkel’s weaknesses, such as particularly “strong, emotional performances and clear language”.
Mr Schulz has said: “With me, there will be no Europe bashing. There will be no hounding of minorities.”
Mr Schulz is known as the “man of the people” after he dropped out of high school and fell into depression, lost his job and ended up becoming teetotal in 1980.
The 61-year-old has kept a distance from the daily squabbles of German politics, which could have added to his popularity.
The federal elections are due to take place in September.