Friday, January 21, 2005

A Clear Mandate, part 1

Recent (.PDF) polls indicate that the American public disagrees sharply with the administration's policies. As Paul Waldman points out, "You have to hand it to them that they managed to win re-election with a public that thinks he's basically a screw-up."
The global view is even more sharply critical, as the mainstream media has been pointing out.
See also: The separate Realities (.PDF) of Bush and Kerry voters.


Blogger Management said...

According to a new BBC World Service Poll of twenty-one countries from all regions of the world, the reelection of President Bush is seen as negative for world peace and security by a majority in sixteen countries and a plurality in another two.

On average across all countries, 58 percent said that Bush’s reelection was negative, while 26 percent said that it was positive for global security.

The most negative countries are western European, Latin American and Muslim ones. The only three countries in which a majority or plurality see Bush’s election as positive are the Philippines (63%), India (62%), and Poland (44%). The poll of 21,953 people was conducted by the international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

The poll also finds that for a substantial minority worldwide these negative feelings about Bush have generalized to the American people. Asked how Bush’s election has affected their feelings toward the American people, on average, 42 percent said it made them feel worse toward the American people, while 25 percent said it made them feel better and 23 percent said it had no effect. Countries varied widely. In seven countries clear majorities said that it made them feel worse—especially Turkey (72%), France (65%), Brazil (59%) and Germany (56%). In only two did a majority say it has made them feel better (the Philippines 78% and India 65%). In three countries most said that it has had no effect on their feelings toward the American people — Russia (66%), Japan (62%), and Poland (55%).

Clearly the negative attitudes toward Bush are not simply derived from anti-Americanism as negative attitudes toward the US, while significant, are not as strong as for Bush. On average a plurality of 47 percent say they now view US influence in the world as mostly negative while 38 percent view it as mostly positive and 15 percent did not answer either way. In twelve countries a majority see US influence as mostly negative, with large majorities in Argentina (65%), Germany (64%), Russia (63%), Turkey (62%), Canada (60%), and Mexico (57%).

Though France is often presumed to be overwhelmingly anti-American, only a modest 54 percent majority said they viewed US influence as negative. Majorities see US influence as positive in the Philippines (88%), South Africa (56%), India (54%), Poland (52%), and South Korea (52%).

Asked how they now feel about contributing troops to Iraq, not a single country has a plurality or majority in favor. On average, 70 percent are opposed, which includes 27 percent who said that Bush’s election made them feel more opposed. Interestingly, even in the Philippines and Poland—countries that express positive feelings toward Bush and have contributed troops to the operation in Iraq—majorities are opposed (Philippines 58%, Poland 60%). The only country in which opposition is less than half is Japan (35% opposed), but 54 percent declined to answer the question and only 11 percent were in favor. The highest opposition is in Russia, at a near-unanimous 89 percent.

Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments, “This is quite a grim picture for the US. Negative feelings about Bush are high and are generalizing to the American people who reelected him. And, support for contributing troops to Iraq is nowhere to be found. However, those saying the US itself is having a clearly negative influence in the world still do not constitute a definitive world-wide majority, suggesting there may be some underlying openness to repairing relations with the US.”

Doug Miller, President of GlobeScan, comments, “Our research makes very clear that the reelection of President Bush has further isolated America from the world. It also supports the view of some Americans that unless his Administration changes its approach to world affairs in its second term, it will continue to erode America’s good name, and hence its ability to effectively influence world affairs.”

Some of the countries most negative about Bush’s reelection are traditional US allies. These included all western European countries polled—Germany (77% negative), France (75%), Britain (64%), though Italy was relatively moderate at 54 percent negative. Also quite negative were Canada (67%) and Australia (61%). Japan, however, was again somewhat noncommittal (positive 15%, negative 39%, no difference 31%, don’t know 15%).

Countries with predominantly Muslim populations are also quite negative. In Turkey, though a US ally, an overwhelming 82 percent were negative about Bush’s reelection—the highest of all countries polled. Also negative were Indonesia (68%), and Lebanon (64%).

Given that Latin America has had less direct involvement in the foreign policy issues of the first Bush term, it is striking how negative public feelings are toward Bush there. Argentines were 79 percent negative, as were 78 percent of Brazilians, 62 percent of Chileans and 58 percent of Mexicans.

The most mixed region is Asia. As mentioned, a large majority of Filipinos (63%) and Indians (62%) feel positive about Bush’s reelection, while the Japanese were noncommittal. However the majority of Indonesians (68%), Chinese (56%) and South Koreans (54%) are negative.

In the one African country polled, South Africa, a majority (57%) is negative.

Russians lean negative (39% negative to 16% positive) but, similar to the Japanese, nearly half either said Bush’s reelection made no difference to them (32%) or gave no answer (14%).

Globally, demographic variations are modest. Those with higher education and higher income are a bit more likely to have negative feelings about Bush’s reelection and to feel worse toward the American people. Women and those with higher incomes are a bit more likely to oppose sending troops to Iraq.

Among all countries polled that currently have forces in Iraq, in no case was there majority public support – something potentially problematic for the Iraq operation. Majorities oppose contributing troops in Italy (65%), Britain (63%), Poland (60%), Australia (56%), and South Korea (56%). Once again Japan was more noncommittal with a plurality of 35% opposed, but a notable 54 percent not answering the question.

In addition to the 21 countries polled, a poll of 1,000 Americans was conducted. Not surprisingly 56% of Americans expressed the view that Bush’s reelection is positive for world security (negative 39%) and 71% said that the US is having a mostly positive influence in the world (25% mostly negative).

Polling was conducted from November 15, 2004 to January 3, 2005 with of 21,953 people, plus 1,000 Americans. In eight of the countries the sample was limited to major metropolitan areas. The margin of error per country ranged from +/-2.5 – 4%. For more details, please see the Methodology section or visit

10:12 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Global poll slams Bush leadership
More than half of people surveyed in a BBC World Service poll say the re-election of US President George W Bush has made the world more dangerous.

Only three countries - India, Poland and the Philippines - out of 21 polled believed the world was now safer.

The survey found that 47% of the 21,953 people questioned now see US influence in the world as largely negative, and view Americans negatively as well.

None of the countries polled supported contributing their troops to Iraq.

"This is quite a grim picture for the US," said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), which carried out the poll with GlobeScan.

There may be some underlying openness to repairing relations with the US"
Steven Kull

"Negative feelings about Bush are high and are generalising to the American people who re-elected him."

On average across all countries, 58% of people - and 16 out of 21 countries polled - said they believed Mr Bush's re-election to the White House made the world more dangerous.

Traditional allies

Most negative feelings were found in Western European, Latin American and Muslim countries.

They include traditional US allies such as Germany, France, Britain and Italy as well as neighbours Canada and Mexico.

The only European country to buck the trend was Poland, one of the new members of the European Union, which gave the thumbs up to both President Bush and the US.

Turkey topped the anti-Bush list, with 82% believing his re-election would be negative for global security.

The result is bad news for the president as Turkey is a US ally and the only Muslim member of Nato, says the BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels.

Other predominantly Muslim countries - Indonesia and Lebanon - were also high up the list.

But, any warmer feelings in Indonesia towards the US following its tsunami relief operations would not show up as the poll was carried out before the disaster struck, says the BBC's Dan Isaacs.

Economic boom

Anti-Bush sentiments also appeared to be strong in Latin America. Argentina, with 79%, and Brazil, with 78%, follow Turkey in the list.

This seems surprising given that the region has had less direct involvement in US foreign policy issues, says our correspondent.

Another surprise was India's support for Mr Bush. The poll found 62% believed his administration was positive for global security.

The BBC's Nick Bryant says the reason for this may be because the poll was carried out in cities where people have benefited economically from closer trade ties with the US.

Doug Miller, President of Globescan, said the findings "supports the view of some Americans that unless his administration changes its approach to world affairs in its second term, it will continue to erode America's good name, and hence its ability to effectively influence world affairs".

But Mr Kull says the results do not constitute a definitive world-wide majority, "suggesting there may be some underlying openness to repairing relations with the US".

PIPA interviewed between 500 and 1,800 people in each of the 21 countries surveyed, plus 1,000 Americans, in face-to-face or telephone interviews.

The interviews took place between 15 November 2004 and 5 January 2005.

The margin of error is between 2.5 and 4 points, depending on the country.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Post-inaugural poll finds mixed reaction to address
Signs of hope mix with skepticism of lofty goals

Friday, January 21, 2005 Posted: 12:41 AM EST (0541 GMT)
(CNN) -- More than half of Americans doubt the United States can "end tyranny in the world," a long-term goal President Bush stressed in his inaugural address, but a majority feel spreading democracy is essential to U.S. security, a poll released Thursday night shows.

Also, most of the 624 adults surveyed by phone Thursday in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll said they believe stopping tyranny should be a high priority for foreign policy.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (73 percent) said they either monitored broadcast coverage of inauguration ceremonies as they happened or have read, watched or listened to reports after the fact. Twenty-six percent said they did neither.

Bush was sworn in Thursday for a second term. His inaugural address, delivered before a crowd of more than 100,000 people, was devoted in large part to the nation's security.

"We have seen our vulnerability, and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny -- prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder -- violence will gather."

"So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Sixty percent of respondents felt Bush's goal of ending tyranny was not attainable, 35 percent believed it was, and 5 percent had no opinion.

Two-thirds of respondents agreed that the growth of democratic movements in every nation should be a top or high priority for U.S. foreign policy; 23 percent, a low priority; and 9 percent, not a priority.

Sixty percent of Americans agreed that spreading democracy is "essential" for U.S. security, while 35 percent felt it makes no difference.

Also in his inaugural address, Bush said he would "strive in good faith to heal" the nation's divisions. Forty-two percent of respondents felt he would make good on his promise, but 53 percent said he wouldn't be able to attain his goal.

Forty-three percent said the inauguration made them more hopeful about the next four years. A quarter said it made them less hopeful, and 28 percent said it made no difference.

Forty-six percent characterized the inauguration as a celebration of U.S. democracy and history, and 21 percent said it was a celebration of Bush's victory. To 30 percent, it was no cause for celebration at all.

Asked how they personally felt about Bush's inauguration, 18 percent said they were thrilled; 32 percent happy; 12 percent unhappy; 10 percent depressed; and 25 percent didn't care.

Some critics questioned spending millions of dollars on inauguration festivities in a time of war and after the devastation of December's tsunami in South Asia.

But 60 percent of respondents felt the festivities were appropriate versus 32 percent who disagreed.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

10:47 PM  

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