If the United States Presidential Election were a worldwide election, it wouldn’t even be close: Obama would win in a massive landslide.
The BBC recently conducted a worldwide poll, asking which candidate non-U.S. citizens around the world would vote for if they were able to vote in the election. The results show that President Obama has overwhelming support worldwide, when compared with Mitt Romney.
France is the country with the heaviest support for Obama, with 72% of French citizens polled indicating that they would vote to re-elect the President. For historians and other humanities scholars who study French culture, this is no surprise. American political news is reported daily in the French media, so French citizens are well informed on the positions of both major political parties in the United States. Although traditional left-center-right distinctions have become confused in the Post-Cold War world, I would argue that the political “center” of France is far left of the “center” in the United States. President Obama is clearly not a socialist, but many French citizens would like to see him adopt policies to regulate banks and multinational corporations.
I am currently doing research in Paris, so it is fascinating to watch the French reporting on the U.S. Presidential Debates and to talk with French people about the election.