The United States presidential campaigns are having a bigger effect on world opinion than one might think based on the results of a recent SSI QuickPoll™. In fact, there’s great interest in Europe in the presidential election even at this early stage. Two-thirds of Europeans are paying attention with over a third saying they are paying “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of attention.
According to SSI’s U.S. Presidential Pulse, the majority of respondents (56%) across France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom paid “quite a lot of attention” or “some attention” to the U.S. presidential election campaign. Only 11% of respondents across the four countries indicated they have paid “a great deal of attention” to the election campaign.
The SSI Presidential Pulse QuickPoll was conducted amongst 3199 individuals aged 18 and older between Jan. 12-13, 2016. To coincide with this year’s presidential election, SSI will conduct ongoing surveys under its SSI Presidential Pulse program to provide real-time checks on the opinions of the voting public on candidate favorability.
“When SSI reviewed the results on a country level respondents in the Netherlands (48%) were more likely to state they had not paid ‘very much attention’ or ‘no attention at all’ to the U.S. presidential election campaign than respondents in France (25%), Germany (28%), and the U.K. (31%),” said Jackie Lorch, vice president of knowledge management at SSI.
When asked which of the following candidates for U.S. president have they heard of, respondents were very aware of Hillary Clinton (90%) and Donald Trump (85%). Almost half (48%) of respondents had heard of Jeb Bush. No other candidate reaches 20% name recognition (SSI only asked about the top two Democrats and the top six Republicans).
Across all four countries, 69% of respondents who have heard of Hillary Clinton indicated they have a favorable opinion of her. France (71%) and Germany (75%) were more likely to indicate they have a favorable opinion of Clinton than respondents in the Netherlands (66%) and the U.K. (64%).
Conversely, among respondents who have heard of Donald Trump, 71% indicated they had an unfavorable opinion of him. Germany (76%) and U.K. (72%) respondents were more likely to state they had an unfavorable opinion of Trump than respondents in France (68%) and the Netherlands (67%).
In fact, yesterday, the British Parliament held a debate over a petition calling for Donald Trump to be banned from the country. The debate did not produce any binding decisions.
“SSI asked our respondents, ‘Do you think Donald Trump should be banned from entering the U.K.?’ Overall, 38% of respondents did not think Donald Trump should be banned from entering the U.K.,” explained Lorch. Respondents in the U.K. (46%), were more likely than respondents in France (34%), Germany (33%) and the Netherlands (39%) to state they did not think Trump should be banned from the UK.
“In spite of the unfavorable opinion, only a quarter to a third of Europeans polled think Trump should be banned from the U.K. or from their own countries,” concluded Lorch. The majority of respondents in France (41%), Germany (41%), and the Netherlands (46%) stated they did not think Trump should be banned from their country.