There are leaders, and populations, who favor a Romney victory. Eastern Europe has long seen Republicans as more sympathetic to their struggles with Russia, and former Polish president Lech Walesa endorsed Romney over the summer.

In Israel, where Obama’s Middle East policies have been viewed with suspicion, many people are quietly rooting for a Romney victory. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to project a nonpartisan stance, he has been friends with Romney for decades, and his relationship with Obama has been cool.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, many countries are focused inward on troubled economies and shaky democratic transitions in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. There is also a widespread — and long-standing — belief in the Middle East that regardless of who the U.S. president is, U.S. foreign policy will always be the same.

In Egypt, few have bothered to tune in to the U.S. presidential debates, said Khaled Heba, a writer for the state-run newspaper al-Youm al-Sabaa. The question of Romney vs. Obama is simply not a priority, he said.