September 10, 2008 3:00 am
People in 22 countries from Canada to Kenya would unanimously prefer Barack Obama to be elected president of the US instead of John McCain, according to a poll of international opinion about the presidential race, writes Andrew Edgecliffe- Johnson in New York .
The Illinois senator was preferred over his Arizona rival by a margin of four to one in a poll of 22,500 people commissioned by the BBC World Service. The findings could sharpen the debate on which candidate would stand the better chance of improving the US's image and influence abroad.
On average, 46 per cent of those polled said American relations with other countries would improve under Mr Obama, and 7 per cent said they would worsen. Just 20 per cent thought Mr McCain could improve international relations, and 17 per cent thought they would get worse under the Republican.
GlobeScan and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which conducted the poll, also questioned 1,000 US voters, of whom 46 per cent said an Obama administration would improve international relations and 30 per cent said the same of Mr McCain.
"Given how negative America's international image is at present, it is quite striking that only one in five think a McCain presidency would improve on the Bush administration's relations with the world," said Doug Miller, chairman of GlobeScan.
Mr Obama's international appeal has been mocked by the McCain campaign, with videos likening his reception at a rally in Berlin to the adulation given to celebrities such as Paris Hilton.
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