The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 2, 2012

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

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

With headlines like "Poor choice for Americans" and "The US elections mean nothing for Pakistan," it's clear the Pakistani press agrees with public opinion. "The American President irrespective of party colours will do what they or the State Department, Pentagon or the CIA thinks is best for their country," Tughral Yamin recently observed in Pakistan's The News International. "We should concentrate on rebuilding our country in a manner that it is taken seriously by all incumbents of the White House in the times to come."

What are the broader lessons we can learn from all these statistics? According to UPI data, countries that enthusiastically support Obama tend to cite the candidates' competence, personality and personal background as the main factors influencing their (theoretical) vote, while countries that are particularly down on the president or supportive of Romney tend to mention the candidates' policies toward their nations. More broadly, it appears that, with some exceptions, Israel is Romney country and Northern and Western Europe is Obama country, with a skeptical rest of the world in the middle. As for Pakistan? Perhaps they'll flock to Ron Paul.

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Friedman is an associate editor at Foreign Policy.

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