Le Figaro, France
80% of French Voters
Would Select Barack Obama
By Thierry Portes
Translated By Elizabeth J. Newton
September 10, 2008
France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)
The departure of George Bush from the White House can only further improve the opinion, already good, that the French have of the U.S. Especially if Barack Obama, preferred by most of our citizens, is elected.
The French, for the most part, have a good opinion of Americans. It’s George W. Bush and the politics of his administration that degraded the image of the U.S. in the Hexagon [France]. In fact, the judgment of our citizens was no different from those recorded in Europe and all over the world. In consequence, the French have an excellent opinion of Barack Obama, the successor with the greatest possible distance from the current resident of the White House. According to the study conducted by the TNS Sofres Institute and Logica, this past September 2 and 3, for the French-American Foundation and published exclusively by Le Figaro, the Democratic candidate is preferred by 80% of those polled; John McCain was the subject of only 8% of people’s hopes for victory in next November’s United States Presidential election. In this study based on a sample of some 1000 people, 66% of those polled had a “good opinion” of Americans.
Good Feelings Toward the United States
In its earlier studies, the French-American Foundation had measured the “good feelings” of the French toward their allies from overseas. At the beginning of the millennium, our fellow citizens, about 40% of them, expressed this “good feeling” toward Americans, 10% confessed some antipathy, and the rest refused to take a position. But after the beginning of the war in Iraq, in 2003, only 31%—10 points fewer—still felt “good feelings” towards their American cousins. Can it be concluded that the imminent departure of George Bush—with only 18% favorable opinion in the TNS Sofres poll—might begin to revive the pro-American flame in France?
There’s no doubt possible about Barack Obama, whose image among the French is very clear. Among those asked, 86% have a “good opinion” of the Democratic representative—in comparison to only 35% for McCain—and 80% of those polled hoped to see the Democratic candidate elected. Such a degree of support transcends all sociological and political divisions. Barack Obama is thus preferred by men and women, old and young, businessmen and workers, residents of the city and the country, voters on the Left and the Right. His ascent to power, according to those polled, would have positive effects on American society (84%), relations between the United States and Europe and France (82%), environmental protection (81%), the conflict in Iraq (76%), and the global economy (72%).
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