Australians prefer Obama to Romney by more than 8 to 1 and three-quarters support basing US soldiers Down Under

Jun 05, 2012, 08:00 ET from Lowy Institute for International Policy

SYDNEY, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- He might be struggling at home, but President Obama is rock-star popular Down Under. A nationally representative opinion poll conducted by the Sydney-based think-tank the Lowy Institute for International Policy has found Australians prefer Barack Obama to Mitt Romney to become the next President of the United States by more than an 8 to 1 ratio (80% compared with 9%).

The President's numbers are even better than four years ago when Australians preferred Obama to his then–rival Sen. John McCain by around a 4 to 1 ratio (73% compared with 16%).

The Lowy Institute's Executive Director Dr Michael Wesley said "the results suggest the alliance is about as rock-solid as you could get. For President Obama, I guess it's too bad Australians can't vote in US elections." 

But it's not only the President who is doing well in Australia: US Marines are just as popular. When asked about the new US military base that has recently been established in Australia's tropical north, a large majority (74%) of Australians say that they are in favour of up to 2,500 US soldiers being based in Darwin.

Forty-six per cent are even in favour of allowing more than 2,500 soldiers to be based in Australia.

Adding to the good news for the US, support for the Australia-US alliance is at its highest levels since the Lowy Institute began polling in 2005, with 87% of Australians saying the alliance relationship with the United States is either very important (59%) or fairly important (28%) for Australia's security.

Similarly, three-quarters (74%) of Australians say the United States will be Australia's most-important security partner over the next 10 years.

The 2012 Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1,005 Australian adults conducted in Australia between 26 March and 10 April 2012.

The 2012 Poll is available for download from the Lowy Institute's website.

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Broadcasters are welcome to use video & audio footage of Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Wesley discussing the 2012 Poll results.



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SOURCE Lowy Institute for International Policy