Around the World

What the World Thinks of U.S. Elections

Less than two weeks from now, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. As President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney go into the final stretch of their campaigns, it's a tight race to the White House.

Opinion polls are tracking how citizens will likely cast their vote on Nov. 6. But what does the rest of the world think about U.S. elections?

The international community is watching closely, though a survey done in June by the Pew Global Attitudes Project indicates there is less interest in this year's election than four years ago. Compared with that time, the next U.S. president will have to deal with major changes in how the rest of the world sees America. According to the Pew survey, which took a look at 20 representative countries, the global financial crisis led many to perceive American economic power in decline and China taking that top spot. And when it comes to military power, there is a widespread perception that the United States does not consider the interests of other countries and acts unilaterally.

A more recent survey of 21 countries found higher approval ratings for President Obama than Gov. Romney.  The BBC World Service opinion poll, conducted between June and September, indicated an average 50 percent preference for the current president and just 9 percent for his Republican challenger. A majority of people surveyed in all countries preferred that the incumbent win the election, except in Pakistan which favors Romney.

For more on this, we turn to the network of digital reporters stationed around the globe for ABC News and Univision News. From London to Nairobi and points in between and beyond, they look at the world's perceptions of U.S. elections and the issues that matter most for their regions.

  • 'Surprised' Serena sets up dream Sharapova final

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams overcame feisty teenage challenger Madison Keys to set up a dream Australian Open final with Maria Sharapova on Thursday but seemed to be the only person surprised she had made it that far. The world number one had to battle against Keys, considered the heir apparent as the queen of American womens' tennis, before she eventually overcame the 19-year-old 7-6(5) 6-2 to set up the final against the Russian. Williams, a five times champion at Melbourne Park, however, felt she entered the tournament in a funk, having played badly at the Hopman Cup in Perth earlier this month and mindful she had crashed out to lower ranked players in the last three years. "I didn't expect to get to the finals of this tournament when I first got here because I wasn't playing great," she said after she made her first Melbourne Park final since 2010.

  • Berdych sour at missing out on Aussie Open final

    Tomas Berdych was in a sour mood after missing his chance to make his first Australian Open final as Andy Murray charged on in the tournament on Thursday. The Czech seventh seed, who went in with a 6-4 winning record over the Scot and had won their last two meetings, could not reproduce his heroics from his previous round upset of Rafael Nadal and bowed out in a fusilade of errors. While Berdych did not serve one double fault against Nadal, he spluttered with six in his semi-final with Murray. Yet again the Czech came up short at the semi-final stage after losing to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in four tight sets at last year's Australian Open.

  • 'Bad mood' Berdych rues another missed chance
    'Bad mood' Berdych rues another missed chance

    By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tomas Berdych blamed "one bad set" for his defeat by Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Thursday when his dreams of a maiden grand slam title were again crushed at the semi-final stage. I was just trying to get my chances, trying to fight for it, but it was not enough." The big-serving Czech thrashed third seed Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the previous round, ending a 17-match losing streak to the Spaniard. Much has been made of coach Dani Vallverdu's part in Berdych's run in Melbourne, having joined the Czech after leaving Murray's camp.