Populist Polish president faces tough re-election challenge

BIALYSTOK, Poland (AP) — Poland’s populist President Andrzej Duda is facing a tough challenge as he seeks re-election Sunday despite the devoted support of many Poles in conservative rural regions. They value him for his attachment to Catholic traditions and his role in introducing welfare payments that have lifted many of them out of poverty in the past five years. But his main opponent has been generating excitement and is rising in the polls. Duda has around 40% support in recent polls, putting him ahead of Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who has nearly 30%. If Duda falls short of the 50% threshold required to win outright, it would trigger a runoff election July 12.