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Belarusians, Ukrainians Aside, RFE/RL Readers Overwhelmingly 'Reelect' Obama

According to unscientific online polls, RFE/RL readers overwhelmingly expressed support for Barack Obama. Only Belarusians and Ukrainians indicated preference for his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
According to unscientific online polls, RFE/RL readers overwhelmingly expressed support for Barack Obama. Only Belarusians and Ukrainians indicated preference for his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
By Claire Bigg
Online polls about the November 6 U.S. presidential election suggest that RFE/RL's audience would have reelected Barack Obama by an even bigger margin than in the United States.

Unscientific opinion polls on various RFE/RL websites indicate the U.S. president enjoys overwhelming support among readers, from Iran to Central Asia and the Caucasus countries.

Two notable exceptions were Belarus and Ukraine, where RFE/RL's audience voiced preference for Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

'Not A Priority'

Yuri Drakakhrust, an analyst with RFE/RL's Belarus Service, says the main factor behind the results is a feeling among many Eastern Europeans that Obama neglected their region during his first presidential term.

"They understand that Eastern Europe -- Russia excluded -- is not a priority in the Obama administration's foreign policy," he says. "Concerning Belarus, it was under the administration of [former U.S. President George W.] Bush that the Belarus Democracy Act was adopted and economic sanctions against the regime of [Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka] were introduced. The Obama administration continued this policy largely by inertia."

In Belarus, 54.2 percent of participants in RFE/RL's online poll said they would vote for Romney, against 32.3 percent for Obama. More than 14 percent were undecided.

Drakakhrust, however, notes that RFE/RL readers and listeners tend to be more tuned into international politics than the general public. Street vox pops conducted by RFE/RL in Belarus indicated significantly stronger support for Obama than its online poll.

The same holds true for Ukraine, where 59.2 percent of RFE/RL readers voiced support for Romney and 40.8 percent for Obama.

Disagree With The 'Reset'

Like Belarusians, many in Ukraine are frustrated by Obama's perceived lack of interest in their country. Unlike his Republican predecessor Bush, who visited Ukraine and repeatedly backed the country's NATO ambitions, Obama failed to make a trip to Ukraine during his first term.

Analysts say many Ukrainians also disapprove of Obama's effort to "reset" relations with the Kremlin, which has strongly opposed Ukraine's push for NATO and European Union membership.

Ukraine and Belarus aside, Obama made strong showings in all other RFE/RL online polls -- often much stronger than the roughly 50 percent he has garnered so far in the U.S. popular vote.

In Iraq, as many as 80 percent of readers said they would vote for him. In Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, three out of four readers favored Obama.

In Azerbaijan, more than 72 percent of respondents gave Obama their virtual vote. Part of Obama's popularity in the Caucasus nation is seen as stemming from his vocal calls on Baku to improve its human rights record and free political prisoners.

Respondents in neighboring Georgia were more reserved in their endorsement of Obama, with 59 percent backing him.

RFE/RL readers in Iran, too, gave Obama lukewarm support; 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for him while 35 percent said they would prefer to see Romney win the White House. The remaining 16 percent were undecided.

Claire Bigg

Claire Bigg covers Russia, Ukraine, and the post-Soviet world, with a focus on human rights, civil society, and social issues. Send story tips to BiggC@rferl.org​


This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
November 12, 2012 21:51
Claire! Of course not only non white minorities in America are for Obama but your non European readers and I think many tribes in South America and Africa do.You`ve forgotten Islam World where Obama is not favoured in spite of his grandiouse efforts.I think the Georgians will soon come by the Ukrainians` and Belarusians` way from the shear gratitude for his help.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
November 13, 2012 05:57
This article is meaningless at all, except staffed by Russia RFE,
Like Eugenio, would like get favors for the article from Obama
(Eugenio pinned on me his posts, get killed in US my mama).
Americans, cheated by Neo-Tech, kept the known evil pray,
Instead of not much better pray of secretive Mormon way.

As for pray, between two candidates, Mormon Romney,
Or "Trinity" and Neo-Tech Obama, Obama looking bad,
Althought, Bechtel's employees used to say Mormons,
In conspiracy with Bechtel, were hiding the kidnapped
By Bechtel plagiarized, children and adult, looks gross.

Trinity church tried abolish first three Commandments
That prohibit plagiarizing God and anyone he blessed,
Or nation in question, or whole humanity be coarsed,
Forever - so Obama is "blessed" by Trinity plagiarize.
Neo-Tech also abolish Commandment "do not wish".

So Obama must wish steal property of a fellow man,
To plagiarize be Great Leader - as Rashka promiss.
It was one reason I was blackmailed by Russia-CIA,
In name of his government - to be plagiarized slave.
I refused, and they killed, as promissed, my mother.

A prefference of some countries, like Central Asia,
Comming as missconseption that Obama "black",
Thus he isn't racist as Russian Varaga-Prussaka.
Not true - he don't care - he playing Golf in a back.
His Grandmama is a Jew - "saved by Russaka".

It is what Russians pronmissed Obama, get me.
Create-plagiarized - in name of "the oppressed",
To let Russia resurect Empire, conquer for thee,
Make Obama Great Leader, Queen an Empress
Of the World, along with Bechtel and Putin Tree.

I respectfully decline - thought I would not vote
For any, neither represents America that broad
Enough. I may be killed for that too by their plote,
As my pure mother, since July Seven dead cold.

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