Via Pew, something for both sides to cheer, no? For Democrats, it’s proof that the rest of the world views Trump as dangerously irresponsible. For Republicans, it’s proof that the rest of the world rightly fears that their free lunch at America’s expense is over. Of course the globe is going to prefer the globalist to the nationalist.
Be honest, though, Trump fans. If his numbers here looked like hers, the spin would be that all the media hype about Trump alienating allies is nonsense and that Hillary Clinton, for all her vaunted foreign policy expertise, is seen as no safer a choice than Trump himself is.
Notice that confidence in Trump is a bit higher in some European countries, like Italy, Hungary, and the UK, than others. What do they have in common? Right — strong populist/nationalist movements of their own, not unlike Trump’s base here. The UK has Nigel Farage’s UKIP, of course; Hungary has Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party; and Italy has Beppe Grillo’s Euroskeptic Five Star Movement. Pew found that, at 30 percent, support for Trump was substantially higher in the UK among UKIP members than it was among Britons at large. It was also higher in Italy among Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia movement. Berlusconi is often compared to Trump since they’re both playboy moguls who built political movements fueled by their own charisma and cult of personality. Interestingly, members of Berlusconi’s party had more confidence in Trump at 31 percent than members of Grillo’s Five Star movement did, at just 19. In all three cases, though — Forza, Five Star, and UKIP — those who say they have no confidence in Trump stand at 61 percent or higher. Even Europeans who should be cheering for a Trump victory this fall as the strongest evidence yet that the future lies in nationalism are chilly towards the idea of him as president.
Another takeaway here is how relatively well aware the world is of Trump’s message, even with the general election campaign barely under way. Pew notes a degree of correlation in various countries between those who say they have confidence in Trump and those who say they have confidence in Vladimir Putin. Where confidence in Putin trends a little higher, confidence in Trump tends to do so too, suggesting that his image as a would-be strongman is already well known internationally. The second graph here, in WaPo’s write-up of the poll, illustrates the Putin/Trump correspondence. Of note: Of the 15 countries polled, the only one where voters have more confidence in Trump than in Putin is pro-American/anti-Russian Poland. Everywhere else it’s Putin who’s seen as more confidence-inspiring. Is that a simple artifact of Putin having already attained power while Trump hasn’t or is it a commentary on their relative capabilities?
Here’s Farage yesterday distinguishing his movement from Trump’s but insisting that there’s nothing on earth that could lead him to support Hillary Clinton for president.