The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 2, 2012

How the world would vote in the U.S. election

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

RED STATES

There is really only one red (foreign) state in this election, and it's Israel. In a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University last week, 52 percent of Israelis said a Romney win would be preferable for Israeli interests, compared with 25 percent who said the same about Obama. The divide was starker among Jewish Israelis, who backed Romney by a 57-22 margin, with support for the GOP candidate strongest among right-wingers. A plurality of Arab Israelis, by contrast, favored Obama (45 percent) over Romney (15 percent). Earlier this fall, a YouGov-Cambridge survey found that 0 percent of Palestinian respondents felt that Romney's election would make them more favorable to the United States (nearly 50 percent said it would have no impact on their feelings toward America).

During the campaign, Romney has taken an aggressive stance on Iran's nuclear program, repeatedly emphasized the importance of U.S.-Israeli relations (he visited Jerusalem over the summer), and expressed skepticism about the Palestinians' commitment to peace. Benjamin Netanyahu hasn't expressed a preference for Obama or Romney during his effort to get the United States to commit to clear "red lines" for Iran's nuclear program, but the Israeli press has speculated that the prime minister's meddling in the race could invite U.S. payback if Obama is reelected.

BLUE STATES

The world over, the American president may have no stauncher friend than France. In poll after poll after poll after poll, the French top the list of Obama backers, with support ranging from the low 70s to the low 90s, depending on the survey. France's Socialist President François Hollande appears to be one of those boosters, though he also recognizes that France's love could go unrequited during a campaign in which Romney has accused Obama of endeavoring to turn the United States into a "European-style welfare state." Hollande recently joked that he should endorse Romney just to sink the candidate's chances.

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