The International Favorite

Christopher Jerrolds

With this election coming to a close, the presidential polls have kept politicians, political pundits, and everyday political junkies on the edge of their seats. However, there is one poll that you may not have seen since it has not been tweeted by CNN, FOX, or MSNBC nor has Nate Silver factored into his blog.

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) recently conducted a poll surveying 21 countries around the world of their choice in the 2012 US Presidential election. GlobeScale/PIPA conducted the survey on 21,797 respondents who indicated whether they preferred President Obama or Governor Romney as the next President of the United States.

On average, 50% of respondents preferred Obama as opposed to the 9% that preferred Romney. The rest of the respondents chose “Either,” “Neither,” “No difference,” “Other,” or “DK/NA.”

20 of the 21 countries surveyed preferred Obama to Romney. Of the 21 countries surveyed, 13 of them are G-20 nations, and Turkey was the only G-20 nation that did not favor Obama to Romney by a factor of three or more. Pakistan was the only country that favored Romney to Obama (14% to 11%). However, it is speculated that the Pakistani opposition to Obama is due to the increased use of the drone program in the region.

The report also compared these results to the BBC international poll of the 2008 Presidential election. It showed that opinions had changed very little over the last four years. The only major differences were Obama’s double-digit losses in Mexico, China, and Kenya, while respondents in India, Indonesia, Panama, and Brazil prefer Obama this election by at least a 12% increase.

While these 21 countries favor Obama to beat Romney like President Reagan beat Walter Mondale in 1984, the national polls in the US remain neck and neck. It can be argued that since so many respondents chose the answers other than preferring Obama or Romney, then they must be uninformed. Yet, something has informed at least half of these respondents to decide they prefer Obama. Even as a freshman US Senator, Obama was able to gain the favorability of each of the 23 nations surveyed by BBC in 2008.

These numbers are attention worthy. The reputation of confidence in the United States of America from the rest of the world has vast importance to our success as a nation. However, there are many questions to be considered in interpreting this data. Does the US electorate have a better understanding than the rest of the world concerning the effects on the outcome of this Presidential election?  Is there something that the rest of the world can see that the US electorate cannot? Do the interests of US citizens differ so much from citizens around the globe to elect the candidate that clearly is not favored by many of our allies?

Nevertheless, Americans have decided to keep this race close up to the end. If Governor Romney comes out on top Tuesday night, this poll indicates that he will not only have to gain the confidence of the American people but also that of many nations around the world.


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