The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

September 09, 2004

World wants Bush out

The world wants United States President George W Bush out of the White House, according to a poll (PDF, 112K) that shows in 30 of 35 countries people preferred Democrat candidate John Kerry—especially in traditionally strong US allies. The only countries where President Bush was preferred were the Philippines, Nigeria, and Poland.

Only one in five want Bush re-elected. [...] Asked how the foreign policy of President Bush has affected their feelings toward the US, in 30 countries a majority or plurality said it made them feel "worse" about America. [...]

GlobeScan President Doug Miller says, "Perhaps most sobering for Americans is the strength of the view that US foreign policy is on the wrong track." [...] Among countries that have contributed troops to the operation in Iraq, most favored Kerry and said that their view of the US has gotten worse with Bush's foreign policy. [...]

Kerry was strongly preferred among all of America's traditional allies. These included Norway (74% for Kerry to 7% for Bush), Germany (74% to 10%), France (64% to 5%), the Netherlands (63% to 6%), Italy (58% to 14%), and Spain (45% to 7%). [...]

The poll of 34,330 people was conducted mainly during July and August 2004 by GlobeScan and its worldwide network of research institutes, in conjunction with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the University of Maryland.

The only problem is that while the world wants Bush out, the people of the US, or at least about half of them, want Bush in. That, the amount of money at Bush's disposal and the voting machines that can easily be manipulated (see also here — what the hell is wrong with paper voting sheets anyway?) would make me very surprised if Kerry were elected president.

And that's despite Bush's problem with numbers.

Posted by Horst on September 9, 2004 10:03 AM to news of the world | Tell-a-friend

Scott Partee said on September 9, 2004 07:15 PM:

Maybe the U.N. could monitor our elections. I'm serious!

nora said on September 11, 2004 11:22 PM:

i believe the elections ARE going to be internationally monitored. who by i don't remember.

Chuck Bearden said on September 17, 2004 07:41 AM:

You mention the amount of money at Bush's disposal. According to, Kerry's receipts for the latest reporting period total $304,223,188, while Bush's total $243,656,202, though from the bar graph it looks as though Bush would have a little more than Kerry if he had accepted the Federal matching funds.

It is also worth noting that much of the advocacy spending in U.S. elections is not carried out by the candidates or their parties, but by proxy organizations called 527 commitees. Of the top 10 527 committees by dollar receipts, nine are Democrat- or liberal-leaning (see here for a list of the top 50).

The U.S. is really very evenly divided between the two major parties, and it isn't explicable simply in terms of money--there are diffences between the parties that many Americans consider significant, and they didn't start with Bush. There are also important divisions within each of the parties, and these also aren't reducible to Bush's money either. There are very few undecided voters to sway. It is more likely that the candidates will concentrate on ensuring that more of the decided voters in their camp actually get out and vote.

In any case, some Democrats are complaining that Kerry's campaign has been incompetently run, and Kerry himself has not proved to be the best campaigner. If he loses, it won't simply be due to money, as appealing as such an explanation might seem.
As for the voting machines, I'm not too sure about those myself, though I would point out that the Republicans are not necessarily always in a better position to cheat. In an evenly divided country, there are about as many Democrats as Republicans serving as election judges and secretaries of state for the states.

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