The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 2, 2012

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

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Many Western and Northern European nations — including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom — are similarly enthusiastic, though the UPI poll suggests that countries such as Finland and Ireland are less passionate about Obama than, say, Germany. A couple Southern and Eastern European countries — namely Italy and the Czech Republic — belong in this category as well.

Elsewhere in the world, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Panama are staunchly in the Obama camp, with support hovering around the 60s. Obama is polling in the 50s and 60s in Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia, Indonesia (where Obama lived as a young boy), and South Korea, and in the 60s and 70s in African countries like Cameroon and Nigeria. BBC polling suggests that support for Obama has actually surged in Brazil, Indonesia and Panama (Obama's so popular in Brazil, in fact, that at least 16 candidates recently used the president's name to attract votes during municipal elections).

Anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of respondents in the countries above want Obama to be reelected — enough of a groundswell to put these nations safely in the incumbent's column.

LIGHT BLUE STATES

This category overlaps with others on the list, but the countries involved constitute something of a special case: All have grown markedly disillusioned with Obama over the past four years. Think of these countries as the young people staring up at faded Obama posters that Romney running mate Paul Ryan mentioned in his convention speech.

Support for Obama in Kenya, once the home of the president's late father, has declined from a staggering 87 percent in 2008 to 66 percent today, according to the BBC, while support for Obama's Republican challenger has risen from 5 percent to 18 percent during the same period (it's worth noting that UPI still has Obama polling at 83 percent in Kenya). "Compared to other past U.S. presidents and in particular President Bush, who had very low approval levels when he left office, the Obama administration has not in any way improved relations with Africa or has had any specific economic and social policy favoring Africans," Kenyan lawyer Dann Mwangi recently noted in The Standard (though apparently Obamamania is still alive and well in Obama's father's village).

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