By Adam Drummond, Opinium Research Political Polling Unit
Although polls in the US predict that Barack Obama will be re-elected, albeit by a smaller margin than in 2008, if those of us in the UK were able to vote then the result would be an overwhelming Obama landslide.
Our latest Opinium/Observer poll showed that 59% of GB adults thought that an Obama victory would be best for Britain compared with just 6% choosing Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
This isn’t really that surprising though as people in Britain (and the rest of the world) have preferred the Democratic Party’s candidate to the Republican Party’s candidate for the past two elections.
In 2008 a Guardian/ICM poll showed that 53% of British respondents would choose Barack Obama and just 11% would choose Republican John McCain (36% had no opinion). A BBC World Service poll of 22,500 people in 22 countries showed that 49% preferred then-Senator Obama to just 12% who preferred McCain. Interestingly the margin in the UK was similar to the 2012 Opinium poll with 59% of Britons favouring Obama and just 9% choosing McCain
In 2004 when Republican George W. Bush ran for re-election against Senator John Kerry, a poll conducted by 10 of the world’s leading newspapers found that 50% of Brits backed John Kerry and just 22% would back George Bush.
The implication would seem to be that Brits (and the world generally) prefer Democratic Party candidates to Republican Party candidates as they have done for this election and the two before it.
However, it’s much more difficult to find comparable polls in the 2000 Bush vs. Al Gore election or any before that (if anyone has examples do let us know) which makes it hard to work out whether Brits just happen to like Obama and dislike Bush or whether there is a more general preference for the Democratic party over the Republican party.