These are the results of a recent YouGov/Handelsblatt poll on which leader the citizens of the G20 countries want to see as the next US President.
Russia is the only country where more people, by a considerable margin, support Donald Trump becoming US President (31%) than support Hillary Clinton (10%).
This might come as a surprise to some of you considering how many Russians and (((Russians))) have been writing anti-Trump jeremiads in both the Western and Russian press:
- Famous activist for Russian democracy (in WSJ op-eds and Vilnius conferences) Garry Kasparov.
- Pussy Riot.
- Basically everybody in the skinny jeans-wearing, Jean Jacques cafe-frequenting, pseudointellectual Gazprom-subsidized Echo of Moscow crowd: Glorified photographer Ilya Varlamov, Karina Orlova, and the high priestess of Living Not By Lies herself, Evgeniya Albats.
- Democratic journalist “Putin stole my wallet” Anne Applebaum.
- Democratic journalist “Putin stole my dry cleaning ticket” Miriam Elder.
- Democratic journalist “Je Suis Refugee (from pro-Putin Russian Cattle)” Julia Ioffe.
- Democratic journalist “Je Suis Fromage” Masha Gessen.
- Editor of The Moscow Times, once the most prominent newspaper for Western expats in Russia, Michael Bohm segues seamlessly from Putin Derangement Syndrome to TDS.
Which just goes to show that whenever you see a Russian writing in an American mainstream media publication, its usually safe to assume the truth is the exact opposite of whatever he or she says.
Here is how one /r/The_Donald user described his “awakening”:
Thats actually really cool to hear. I will admit, I ate up our medias picture of Russia and never had much positive to say, but this election has made me do my own research and you all seem pretty bad ass. I would like to say sorry for being a cuck and hopefully we can become strong allies in the future.
Ultimately, as the only major candidate who doesn’t want to fight a New Cold War with Russia, it stands to reason the most Russians with an opinion on US politics support Trump.
Putin’s near endorsement of Trump as a “bright and talented person” would have also helped.
As Irish journalist Danielle Ryan points out, it’s not like Trump is likely to magically transform relations between the US and Russia. And certainly those corners of the internets who dream of a Western Alliance between a Trumpian America and Putin’s Russia to remove kebab are deluded (even if they are ironically deluded… or delusively ironic… or whatever).
It’s a nice dream though.
However, there is the basic perception that Russia will get along better with a straightforward American patriot than an empty suit (or empty dress?) ideological stooge of neocon and globalist agendas.
I expect the 10% of Russians for Hillary Clinton are mostly Westernists/zapadniks who reliably support the politically correct line of the “international community” against Russia. (However, I think it’s safe to say that Clinton also has a massive anti-rating in Russia. Bill Clinton’s war against Serbia – which resulted in the first major spike in anti-American sentiment in post-Soviet Russia’s history – is still remembered negatively. And many Russians are aware of Hillary Clinton’s warm relations with liberal “neocons in other words” interventionists).
This zapadnik constituency who support Hillary Clinton are not feeling the Bern because they tend to be virulently anti-socialist in the style of Garry Kasparov*:
I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.
Really the only group of people who would support Sanders in Russia are the liberal leftist anti-globalist ecological hippie types but they’re only 1-2% of the population, or an order of magnitude lower even than the zapadnik liberals.
As for Cruz, literally the only Russian of any prominence I’ve found who supports him is the Christian Orthodox fanatic and renowned lolcow Dmitry Enteo:
FWIW Russia's foremost Orthodox Christian crazy fanatic Enteo endorses Cruz and condemns Trump. https://t.co/gpiX1iANRS
— Anatoly Karlin (@akarlin88) March 16, 2016
There are no major surprises in the rest of the rankings.
(1) On average the more “cucked” countries support Hillary Clinton more.
(2) Mexico is at the top and one can’t really fault them for that.
(3) China seems to intuitively support Trump. They too have their issues with the Clintons in the form of the bombing of their Belgrade embassy in 1998. However, they are also understandably a bit put off by Trump’s relatively more bellicose rhetoric against their country, plus as the survey notes, China’s – and India’s and Indonesia’s – respondents were all queried online. The part of the Chinese population that is regularly online and presumably likelier to participate in such polls is demographically younger and presumably more globalist.
(4) Apparently not all Saudis share Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s negative assessment of Trump (or maybe they really don’t like the idea of a woman at the helm):
You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.
Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win.
— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) December 11, 2015
Finally, I would note that the US Presidential Elections haven’t really gotten going yet, so many foreign opinions of Trump vs. Clinton will be quite hazy and uncertain at this point. International opinion will become clearer as we approach November 2016.
* At least when Kasparov’s writing in English in Facebook or The WSJ, as opposed to riling up protest crowds in Moscow, when for some reason his rhetoric becomes remarkably leftist.