As the election of the next US president draws closer, the latest FRANCE 24/Harris Interactive poll, in partnership with the IHT, revealed some surprising results about what most Europeans and Americans expect from the Nov. 4 vote.
As the election of the next US president approaches, the latest FRANCE 24/Harris Interactive poll, in partnership with the International Herald Tribune, revealed some surprising results regarding expectations in Europe and the United States.
While most Europeans interviewed said they were following this election closely (85% in Germany), nearly one in two British respondents (47%) said they were not interested in the vote.
The five largest European countries (78% in France and 72% in Germany) would like to see Democratic candidate Barack Obama elected because of his personality and his capacity to bring about a change from current US policy. For most respondents, Obama would do a good job at promoting relations with the ‘Old Continent’.*
Republican candidate John McCain’s rating, meanwhile, is extremely low. If they could vote, only 1% of French, 5% of German and 8% of Spanish respondents would elect John McCain.
Race and issues
The military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial crisis and global warming are the three main issues the new US president would face as soon as he takes up office, the survey showed. While Europe would like to see a positive outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan, 85% of Americans interviewed felt the national economic situation was the top priority.
Barack Obama is best placed to treat these issues, according to a majority of the people surveyed. However, most people interviewed consider McCain more credible on questions regarding security and reducing terrorism. On these two issues, McCain enjoys a 15-point lead among American respondents.
Finally, this is the first time that a person of colour could actually become the president of the United States. In the six European countries, a majority of respondents (71% of Germans and 54% of Spanish) felt this would have a positive effect on the United States, but 14% of Americans surveyed said they believed it would have a negative impact.
This survey was conducted online among a total of 6,276 adults (aged 16‐64) within France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the United‐States; and adults (aged 18‐64) in Italy, from 1st to 13th October 2008.
Date created : 2008-10-24