Business Management

Kathryn Cave (Global) - Non-US Professionals Want Romney

Our recent poll shows a surprising 11% bias towards Romney amongst our non-US audience. This stands at complete odds to other research on the subject. Please add your voice to the poll and we will report any changes in the result next week.

Last week we ran two simple questions on our website. One was aimed at respondents within the US; the other was aimed at respondents outside the US. They both canvassed opinion on the upcoming election, and both asked which people favoured: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, (or neither).

631 people answered from outside the US and 181 people voted from within the US. Surprisingly, and in complete contradiction to other sources we found, amongst the non-US voters Romney actually took an 11% lead with 54% of the votes (against 43% for Obama and 3% for neither). This presented a totally different picture to other global polls, whilst our snapshot of US voters roughly tallied with official opinion: 46% in favour of Obama, 48% for Romney and 6% not liking either.

Why on earth would our non-US audience throw up such a wildly different answer to other opinion studies? Take the WIN/Gallup global poll for example, that concluded "Obama will face tough competition from his republican challenger, Mitt Romney at home but will win by a landslide in the rest of the world." In this far more comprehensive survey of 26,000 people, results showed that 81% of those asked directly favoured Obama, contrasted with 19% who preferred Romney.

WIN/Gallup findings also reveal that 42% of the world would like the right to vote in America's Presidential election. This assertion appears to supported both by the extensive international coverage of the campaign, and by the fact that three times as many non-US people responded to our small survey than the domestic audience. Now, I don't for a moment doubt that US citizens are fed up of being canvassed for their opinion, but the sheer level of interaction from the rest of world is still notable.

However, whilst the sheet volume of non-US engagement is beyond dispute; this does not explain how our results came out so different. Could it be a Romney bias amongst tech companies? A recent survey by international law firm DLA Piper did reveal that the majority of technology executives believe Mitt Romney would be better for their business. But this is irrelevant; upon closer inspection the research only looks at a local US audience. Sure our findings showed a 2% bias towards Romney amongst US voters, but this was negligible compared to the 11% swing across the rest of the world.

I simply can't get my head around the difference. Admittedly, our poll does not present a statistically valid sample and can't be truly compared to other research. We did not record the country of respondents (except that they were within or outside the US) and we only asked one question. That said 631 people took part, which is a large enough sample for the results to stand out. This is especially true as the WIN/Gallup poll came down so heavily (81%) in favour of Obama. In addition to this, with the exception of Israel (where, perhaps not surprisingly, 65% of respondents preferred Romney), the top five Romney supporting countries (according to WIN/Gallup) were not very fervent. In fact he claimed less than half of the votes across the board, with a steep drop off: Pakistan 41%; Georgia 36%; Macedonia 30% and China 29%. Our poll on the other hand, found an incredible 54% overall in favour of Romney.

I must admit I'm genuinely baffled by this result. I simply can't fathom it. Why on earth would a non-US audience favour Romney? It is abundantly clear why staunch conservatism would be popular within a home country. There are many advantages to Romney policy (depending on your perspective) for people within the States, however, it not obvious why it would be popular to those who would not benefit. Without any political bias, it is hard to argue that Romney is not harsher on immigration, holds more aggressive foreign policies, and generally appears more insular than President Obama. Why would the rest of the world favour that approach? Are people offering ideological support to his views?

Let us know what you think. What country are you based in? Who would you vote for? Please take part in our poll and jot down your detailed responses below. I will report back with an update next week.

By Kathryn Cave, Editor, IDG Connect



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