What the World Wants

A quick glance at Voices without Votes or the global blogosphere and it's clear who the world wants for president: Barack Obama. It seems that, despite the relative closeness of the race in the United States, the rest of the world likes his charisma, his foreign policy, his take on the issues, and perhaps most of all, the fact that he's so different from George W. Bush, whom it's clear the world does not approve of.

There are a number of global election maps tracking the world's opinion. While they are by no means scientific, they all seem to point in the same direction.

A collaboration between Gallup and Foreign Policy entitled If the World Could Vote shows a map of the world, color-coded for Obama and McCain supporters…only there are none of the latter (rather, much of the world is undecided/unknown, while the rest is replete with Obamania). A screenshot taken on October 29, shows the top 10 countries supporting Obama and McCain:


A similar site, incidentally also entitled If the world could vote, has the same goal. The site, considerably more amateur, was created by a twenty-two year old in Iceland. In their FAQs, they explain why they're tracking the world's opinion:

Just out of curiosity. The president of the United States is a powerful man, probably the most powerful person on the planet. So everyone seems to have an opinion on who should be the next president of the United States. We thought it would be interesting to see who would be the next president if the whole world could vote. It's also a challenge to try to beat the number of voters in the last US elections. So spread the news!

The site currently has 541,167 votes from 204 countries; of those votes, 86.9% are for Barack Obama, with 13.1% for John McCain (only Obama and McCain are offered as choices).

Yet another project, entitled The World For, also allows users to vote between Barack Obama and John McCain. A screenshot of the site on October 29 shows only a few countries leaning toward John McCain:


Among the countries backing McCain, according to the site, are Libya, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yet, another similar site from The Economist shows its Iranian votes to be in marked contrast to those from The World For.

According to The Economist‘s site, Iran supports Obama 85% to McCain's paltry 15%. While one site may be a more clear indicator over the other, it's simply not clear which.

A fifth and final site entitled The Takeaway has a Vote 2008 page that has partnered with Voices without Votes. The global portion of their special project indicates, unscientifically, how many electoral votes each country would get if they were to have a vote. In their words:

As part of The Takeaway’s International Electoral College project, we’re assigning Electoral College votes to countries. It’s very unscientific, but if citizens in other countries could vote, we’d want to play around with some data and weight the votes based, not on population, but on numbers that show the political, military, economic and social ties between the countries and the United States.

Explore the lists below and tell us what you think. Any surprises? Which country deserves more delegates? Which deservers fewer? And, most importantly, Why?

What do you think about the U.S. elections? Try voting at one of these sites, or if you're a blogger, submit a link to us!


  • Ainsley

    I’m so glad people from other countries cannot vote in our election. You may read the news and research, but until you live here and see all that is going on you cannot fully understand what it is like to be a tax-paying American who gets the shaft because the \less fortunate\ are lazy. You do not know what it is like to have racial arguments because you are white, not black, WHITE.

  • Ainsley,

    Who exactly are you directing your comment toward? I DO live in the United States and I am a US citizen. Yes, I am white, but I was born and raised in the United States. That said, I don’t believe that only black people can understand racism; Nevermind the fact that your comment ignores Arabs, Asians, Latinos (etc), it’s ignorant to assume that a white American knows nothing about racism.


  • Nat

    Someone hand Ainsley a tissue –QUICK! Her ‘pitty-party’ is about to explode into Blah-ness!
    How dare you make such comments? Should I pity you bc you are WHITE or bc you are not BLACK or LATINO or a minority?
    Do us a favor: take that chip off your shoulder and stop being so ignorant and perhaps you will see what the rest of the world DOES SEE!
    And good luck in your poor pitiful life as a white person in AMERICA of all places!
    It does not get more interesting or frustrating than this!
    Jillian-AMEN SISTA!
    Global Voices-Great piece!

  • Jen

    I agree with Ainsley
    She must know what its like to pay taxes and work your ass off and then have some liberal say that he is going to raise taxes on the people who are keeping this economy going. Obama has the worst plan for the Country and its a shame that 58% of the country doesnt see that yet. You will also never guess how many people dont pay taxws… 58% so i think that once you have all of your taxes payed like everybody else, then your vote should count. Dont bag on her for being a white person in america. I live in L.A. and you have no idea what we go through. The minorities come to us and say that we are just spoiled white bitches and we say something bask and they go and tell that we were being racist.

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