For Obama, the world is not enough as race remains neck-and-neck

A BBC World Service poll shows 20 out of 21 countries surveyed would prefer Obama in the White House over Romney after the election on 6th November.


A poll conducted by the BBC World Service has shown Barack Obama has the overwhelming support of most of the international community to win the American election on November 6th over his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. Where it counts, however, domestic polls show the President only just ahead of Romney.

Amongst the 21 countries the BBC surveyed, Obama’s average preference rate was 50% compared to just 9% for Governor Romney. All other respondents did not show a strong preference for either.

The survey, conducted between July 3rd and September 3rd, showed that of the 21, 797 people surveyed only people from Pakistan would prefer Romney in the White House after November. Of the most pro-Obama countries, France came top with 72% favouring the President over his challenger.

Commenting on the results of the survey conducted by polling firms Global Scan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), director Steven Kull said:

“Obama’s election in 2008 led to a major recovery of America’s image in the world and people are showing little interest in changing horses now.”

Similarly, GlobeScan Director of Global Insights Sam Mountford commented:

“While the presidential race in America looks like going down to the wire, global public opinion appears to be firmly behind Barack Obama’s re-election—even if two in five express no preference between the two candidates.”

Meanwhile in the States, two weeks out from polling day, the overall picture is one of a small Obama lead, as YouGov’s Peter Kellner points out:

“Obama has remained ahead since last month’s Democratic convention. His (modest) lead has probably narrowed fractionally since the beginning of October, but any movements in the national figures, and in most state-level races, have been within the margin of error.”


The race is too close. There have been past elections where a late shift in the national mood has changed the outcome. And the ground war could be decisive – the battle by local Romney and Obama activists in the key states to find all their supporters and make sure they turn out on the day (or vote early, as millions of Americans now do, by post or in person).

“What we can now be fairly sure of is that neither of the first two debates (a Romney triumph in the first one and an effective Obama fight-back in the second) made much of a difference…

“When polls report big shifts in support – especially when they are from companies that do not weight their data to ensure politically representative samples – we should remember the old truth: dramatic polling movements make for bold headlines, but are not always right.”

We will have more on the election race later today on Left Foot Forward…

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