By Nick Li
The Economist magazine has an interesting map that shows what the US election would look like if everyone in the world could vote. Each country is like a US state, in that it gets 3 automatic electoral college votes and then additional votes proportional to population. The 50%+1 majority gets all the electoral college votes for that country. The choice of each country is based on a survey of Economist readers, so obviously this is a highly biased sample. Nevertheless the results are interesting – an overhwhelming Obama landslide 8202 to 8.
Five of the McCain votes come from Macedonia (5 electoral college votes), where McCain is apparently quite popular and holds a 60-40% lead as of today. It will be interesting to see if any of the results change. I couldn’t tell where McCain picked up the other 3 votes, though he appears to be tied in El Salvador (which is worth 12 electoral votes total). A few notable results are that Economist readers in the US tend to be more liberal than the general population as Obama enjoys a 79-21% lead in the Economist survey but only 4-10% lead based on US polls (5.3% today for the Real Clear Politics average average, a poll of polls). This in spite of the conservative reputation of the magazine (my high school economics teacher, an unapologetic Reaganite/Thatcherite, treated the magazine as gospel). Also surprising is that Israeli Economist readers lean 74-26% towards Obama despite polls earlier in the year that revealed that Obama trailed McCain 36 to 27 (with lots of undecideds!) among Israelis (46-20 in another poll).
Less surprising is that conservative Latin American countries that have resolutely pro-Bush leaders, like El Salvador and Colombia, tend to be more pro-McCain. Obama enjoys his biggest leads in Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while also enjoying substantial support in Pakistan and Afghanistan, two states on which he has advocated different policies than McCain.
Of particular interest would be the results for Iraq (not enough votes) and Georgia. McCain has used heated pro-Georgian and anti-Russian rhetoric as part of his campaign (I looked in Putin’s eyes and saw three letters, KGB), criticizing Obama for preaching restraint on both sides after the recent Russian invasion, and his chief foreign policy advisor is a lobbyist for the Georgian government. It seems safe to predict that Iraqis will vote largely for Obama, and it remains to be seen whether McCain’s desire for permanent military bases and a long term US military presenc resonates with local voters.