As President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney are sweating over swing state polls that are likely to determine who wins the election on Nov. 6, a global poll has found that Obama is the clear favorite worldwide.
A BBC World Service opinion poll that surveyed dozens of countries and asked 21,797 people for their opinions found that the President, who was warmly accepted by the international community when he took office four years ago, still remains very popular with foreigners. In fact, every one of the counties polled showed that people would prefer four more years of Obama rather than a Romney presidency – with Pakistan being the only exception.
Obama received the widest support in France, where 72 percent of respondents said they would vote for him. He also enjoyed over 60 percent support in Canada, Kenya, Nigeria, Australia, Panama, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil.
Only in Pakistan did people say they would prefer Romney to win, and even then the vote was much closer than all the other countries polled.
U.S.-Pakistani relations have been strained ever since the Obama administration sent last year a Navy SEAL team to capture Osama bin Laden, who was found at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed upon discovery. The U.S. later questioned how Pakistani officials could have remained ignorant that the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding in a notable building on their territory – although the Pakistani government has denied accusations that it was in any way helping the former al-Qaida leader.
Pakistan has also been unhappy with the covert CIA-operated drone attacks that have struck several targets in northwest Pakistan, and killed may civilians, in American's War on Terror campaign.
The survey, however, was conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA from July 3 –Sept. 3, meaning that it is not reflective of any effects the presidential debates might have had on international opinions.
In their last debate on Monday night, Romney and Obama squared off on foreign policy, with each candidate trying to prove to the American people why they would be the better choice for Commander-in-Chief.
At the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner last week, hosted by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and attended by both Obama and Romney, the President poked fun of his rival by bringing up his global popularity.
"After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity, because I was so popular with our allies overseas. I have to say I'm impressed with how well Gov. Romney has avoided that problem," Obama said, referring to Romney's tour of England, Israel and Poland this summer, where critics say the Republican candidate made a series of gaffes and did not make himself any more popular with foreign citizens.