DER SPIEGEL (Germany), LE FIGARO (France), THE GUARDIAN (UK), POLITICO (US)
According to new international polling data, the majority of Europeans would like to see Barack Obama voted in for a second term. Meanwhile, his Republican opponent Mitt Romney is still a virtual unknown across the pond.
Der Spiegel reported Wednesday that according to a new poll conducted by Transatlantic Trends - commissioned by the German Marshall Fund - 82% of Europeans have a favorable opinion of President Obama. Although, his foreign policy approval rate in Europe has dropped by 12 points - from 83% to 71% - since his inauguration in 2009.
Somewhat worryingly, 38% of those surveyed weren't even sure who Romney was, with a further 39% having an unfavorable view of the Republican nominee.
Unknown to many in Europe, the French-speaking Romney (see below) has the continent on his CV, after spending 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary as a young man.
The poll shows that if Europeans could vote in November's election, 75% would vote for Obama while only 8% would vote for Romney.
Politico reported that Constanze Stelzenmüller, the survey's project leader, said: “On Romney himself, I think a lot of Europeans have the same kinds of questions and reservations a lot of Americans have ... If you want to put it under one header, it’s a question about his authenticity, what does this man really stand for?”
The Guardian also reported yesterday that YouGov published similar international polling figures on Tuesday about the US election campaigns. In the UK, Germany and France only 3%, 4% and 5% respectively said that their views toward the USA would be more favorable if Romney were president.
After a disastrous summer visit, where Romney criticized London's Olympics preparations, 47% of British people said their opinion of the USA would be less favorable if Romney was voted in as the next president. Across the Channel, the affair prompted the French center-right daily Le Figaro to run with the headline: "Is Mitt Romney a Loser?"
However, the prospect of Romney in the White House was greeted more favorably in North Africa, the Middle East, and especially in Pakistan, where 13% of those surveyed would have a more favorable opinion of the US under a Romney presidency.
Pakistan has recently criticized the Obama administration over the continuing drone attacks in the country against Taliban insurgents, which have also led to civilian casualties.