The president of the United States has undeniable influence throughout the world. Even though they don’t get to vote, global citizens have preferences ― often strong preferences ― about who Americans should elect.
The results this year aren’t surprising. Majorities of people polled in many countries prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump ― except in Russia.
A survey done in August and September by Worldwide Independent Network of Market Researchers and Gallup International asked respondents in 45 countries who they would vote for if they could vote in the U.S. election. The only country that Clinton didn’t win was Russia, where respondents preferred Trump by a 23-point margin.
No other country was even close to Russia’s numbers. The U.S. was the second-most favorable to Trump in the survey, giving Clinton only a 7-point margin over the Republican. China preferred Clinton by a 9-point margin. Every other country gave Clinton a lead of at least 20 points.
Ipsos Global asked panelists in 25 countries who is likely to win the election in its October poll. The only places where more people thought Trump would win than Clinton were Serbia and China. The Republican was favored by a 10 percent margin in Serbia and less than 4 points in China. In both countries, over 30 percent of survey respondents said they didn’t know. Russia wasn’t one of the countries surveyed by Ipsos.
The most favorable results for Clinton from Ipsos were in Mexico, South Korea, Norway, Chile and Colombia. Over 80 percent of respondents in those countries said Clinton will win.
Certainly some of the global lean to Clinton can be explained by negative impressions of Trump. In August, a Pew Research Center survey of 15 countries reported that most respondents weren’t confident in Trump’s abilities to lead internationally. His highest marks were in China and Italy, in which just over 20 percent of respondents said they were confident in his capacity to lead on foreign affairs. In Greece, only 3 percent of poll takers placed any confidence in Trump.
Clinton’s numbers were much higher, as were Barack Obama’s. German Chancellor Angela Merkel did better than Trump as well. Even Russian president Vladimir Putin was generally more trusted than Trump.
Global surveys are difficult to execute because of different languages, cultural norms, technology availability and concerns involved in getting representative samples. They are also incredibly expensive to undertake ― which is why we don’t see a lot of them. But in general it’s difficult to accurately survey many countries at the same time. The trends in these surveys are so strongly anti-Trump and pro-Clinton, though, that survey issues probably wouldn’t change the results substantially.
The Ipsos Global survey was conducted mostly online with some additional face-to-face interviews in Serbia and Montenegro. Polls in most of their 25 countries consist of about 500 interviews. The WIN/Gallup International survey varied its methodology according to the needs of each country. Twenty countries were surveyed online, nine by telephone, 14 by face-to-face interviews and two using a combination of those methods. Sample sizes were around 1,000 per country. Pew Research also conducted around 1,000 interviews in each of the countries it surveyed using telephone or face-to-face interviews.