If the world could vote for a U.S. president this week, the outcome would be less than a thriller. Several polls indicate the overwhelming majority of people outside of the U.S. would vote for Barack Obama if they had the chance.
According to a 21-nation poll conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA for the BBC World Service, an average of 50 percent of people surveyed abroad favor Obama. Only 9 percent of those polled prefer Romney, and in 20 out of 21 countries voters would chose Obama.
GlobeScan Director of Global Insights Sam Mountford explains:
While the presidential race in America looks like it's 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.
According to the survey, two-thirds of Canadians would vote for Obama instead of Romney, a percentage consistent with a recent Angus Reid survey that indicated 72 percent of Canadians favor the current president over his Republican challenger.
If Europeans could cast their ballot, they would overwhelmingly vote Romney out of the picture. Europe is Obama's terrain, and France is the president's strongest backer. Seventy-two percent of the French polled by GlobeScan want to see Obama re-elected. Only 2 percent would vote for Romney.
In Africa, too, Obama would be headed for a clear win, the survey says. Yet markedly, the president has lost support in Kenya, where his ratings drop 21 points.
Pakistan is the only country in the survey that prefers a Romney presidency. Fourteen percent of polled Pakistanis would vote Republican, against 11 percent Democrat. Seventy-five percent of Pakistanis do not favor either candidate.
A September survey by Win-Gallup International indicated similarly that the world favors a second Obama administration. That poll gave 18 percent of global support to Mitt Romney, while Obama won the global vote with 81 percent. "A global straw poll among over 26,000 men and women in over 30 countries shows that if an election was held this week, Obama will face tough competition from his republican challenger, Mitt Romney at home but will win a landslide in the rest of the world," the study concluded in September. According to that survey, Obama found his strongest supporters in the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and Iceland, while Romney was most supported in Pakistan, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia and China.
Israel was not polled in the GlobalScan study, but a survey by the University of Tel Aviv found that Israelis prefer Romney by a 3 to 1 margin.
A recent study by the Russian Public Opinion Center concluded that 42 percent of Russians favor Obama, while only 4 percent believe Romney should be the next U.S. president. According to the Wall Street Journal, most Russian Obama supporters come from the country's large cities and its socialist and communist parties. Yet the Journal notes: "In the end, most Russians are not deeply engaged in the U.S. presidential politics, as only 40% of those who responded said they knew the election was being held this year."
Foreign Policy's Uri Friedman summarized the overall landscape for the two candidates abroad: "It appears that, with some exceptions, Israel is Romney country and Northern and Western Europe is Obama country, with a skeptical rest of the world in the middle. As for Pakistan? Perhaps they'll flock to Ron Paul."
Take a look at the countries in the Globescan poll where support for Obama was the highest in the slideshow below:
The French are Obama's strongest international backers. Seventy-two percent prefer Barack Obama to Mitt Romney. Caption: The temporary results of a U.S. presidential election straw vote is displayed on a board at Harry's Bar in Paris, Wednesday October 31 2012. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Australians overwhelmingly support Obama. Sixty-seven percent would vote for the current president. Caption: President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrive to speak with Australian troops during a visit to Royal Australian Air Force Base in Darwin, Australia. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
According to GlobalScan, 66 percent of Canadians support President Obama. A recent Angus Reid survey indicated that 72 percent of Canadians favor the president. Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama greets Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper upon his arrival at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on May 18 2012 G8 summit. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Sixty-six percent of Kenyans champion President Obama, a 21 point drop in ratings since 2008. Caption: Wangari Maathai, Noble Peace Laureate and conservation heroine, is seen with President Barrack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday September 26 2011. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim, File)
Sixty-six percentof Nigerians endorse Obama. Caption: A Nigerian security man sits under a campaign poster of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan, with President Barrack Obama, in Abuja, Nigeria on Wednesday January 12 2011. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Sixty-five percent of Brazilians back Barack Obama. Caption: President Barack Obama meets with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Monday April 9 2012, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Sixty-five percent of Panamanians are in favor of Obama. Caption: President Obama shakes hands with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, in the Oval Office at the White House on April 28 2011 in Washington DC. (Brendan Hoffman-Pool/Getty Images)
Sixty-five percent of Britons root for Barack Obama, according to a GlobeScan survey. Angus Reid found that 62 percent in Britain say they would vote for Obama if they could take part in this year's United States presidential election. Caption: President Barack Obama and Britain's Prince Philip walk to view the Guard of Honor of the Scots Guard during an official arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, on May 24 2011. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, file)
Sixty-four percent of Germans are fans of Barack Obama. Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon her arrival at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on May 18 2012 the G8 summit. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
Fifty-eight percent of South Koreans are pro-Obama. Caption: U.S. President Barack Obama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak look down as they look for their toe-markers before a group photo session at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Coex Center, in Seoul, South Korea on Tuesday March 27 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Fifty-nine percent of Indonesians declare themselves in favor of Obama. Caption: Wearing traditional woven ikat shirt, U.S. President Barack Obama is greeted by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Kristiani, upon arrival for a gala dinner at ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on Friday November 18 2011. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)