Good news or bad news for McCain? As America’s critics abroad are forever reminding us, no one likes being told by foreigners what to do. And of course this plays into the Euro-elitist image the GOP likes to slap the Democrats with, which explains why The One didn’t get much mileage out of his address to the Teutonic masses in Berlin — or is it because every semi-sentient voter in America already realizes the world’s third-way socialists much prefer Lightworkers to old hawks growling about Iran? Ah well. Kerry naturally won this same poll by a huge margin four years ago and a fat lot of good it did him.

But 2008 ain’t 2004, needless to say.

All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.

In 17 of the 22 nations, people expect relations between the US and the rest of the world to improve if Senator Obama wins…

The margin in favour of Senator Obama ranged from 9 per cent in India to 82 per cent in Kenya, while an average of 49 per cent across the 22 countries preferred Senator Obama compared with 12 per cent preferring Senator McCain. Some four in 10 did not take a view…

A similar BBC/Globescan poll conducted ahead of the 2004 U.S presidential election found that, of 35 countries polled, 30 would have preferred to see Democratic nominee John Kerry, rather than the incumbent George Bush, who was elected.

I know I’ve seen polls showing that Americans are concerned with the country’s image abroad but the best I could do after a bit of googling is this one from January taken by two nonprofits: “Overall, nearly nine in ten Americans (88 percent) believe that it is very important for other countries to have a favorable opinion of Americans. Women in particular (80 percent, as compared to 65 percent of men) are very or somewhat worried that the US is losing the trust and friendship of other countries.” Change consistently outpolls Experience as a desired commodity in the next president, too. Sarah Barracuda helps blunt Obama’s advantage on that, but this is the sort of thing that helps keep him in front. Four years ago, with Bush’s approval rating in the 50s and America still feeling defensive after 9/11, it was easy for independents to sneer at world opinion; after four more years of Iraq, I wonder if they’re still so inclined. (Says Gallup: Maybe!) Exit question one: To the extent anyone cares about this at all, how many hours will it be before it’s totally forgotten? 24? Six? Two? Exit question two: Given how other recent BBC world polls have gone, this almost amounts to a badge of honor, doesn’t it?