60% say Clinton will have ‘positive impact’ on Kuwait
WISCONSIN: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. (INSET) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton jokes about GOP challenger Donald Trump during a rally in Sanford, Florida. — AP photos
WASHINGTON: Among Arabs, Kuwaitis have the most negative view of US Republican candidate Donald Trump, and only half have a positive view of his rival Hillary Clinton, a public opinion survey from the Arab Center in Washington, DC showed late Tuesday. Some 69 percent of respondents from Kuwait said they disapprove of the real estate mogul, compared to his overall 60 percent disapproval rating in the region, the results revealed.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of respondents from Kuwait said they approved of the former first lady, compared to her overall 56 percent approval rating in the region. Kuwait was among the eight countries from which a total of 3,200 people over the age of 18 were randomly selected to answer questions on the upcoming US election. The other countries were Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. There were 400 respondents from each nation, and questions were asked over the phone.
The most favorable view of Trump is in Iraq at 34 percent, and the least favorable view of Clinton is held by Palestinians at 54 percent, results showed. Overall, 66 percent of the Arab public prefers a Clinton administration if they had to choose between her and Trump, and only 11 percent said they would like to see a Trump presidency. Another 11 percent said they have no preference, and the remaining 11 percent said they do not know. The strongest preference for Clinton is in North Africa, primarily in Morocco and Tunisia, the data showed.
When it comes to US foreign policy towards the Arab world, 35 percent of Kuwaiti respondents said the Nov 8 election will mean “some change” in policy, versus 31 percent who feel there will be “no change” when the next president is sworn in. As to how the election would affect Kuwait itself, just over 60 percent of Kuwaiti respondents said Clinton would have a “positive impact” on their country. Less than 10 percent thought the same of Trump.
Meanwhile, 34 percent of Palestinians believe that neither candidate will do any good for their cause, the survey said, but Clinton is favored at three times the rate as Trump. The most faith in Trump lies in Iraq, where 19 percent of respondents believe that he would have a positive impact on their country specifically. Overall, 30 percent of Arabs do not expect the election results to create change in how the US approaches the Middle East, but they also appear to be divided, because an almost equal number believe there would also be “some change”.
When asked what top two issues the next Administration should focus on, the prevailing answer across the region was that the US should stop meddling in Arab affairs, yet close behind was a desire for the US to combat the so-called Islamic State (IS). Surprisingly, “a just solution to the Palestinian cause” was ranked third, while “a solution to the Syrian crisis in line with the aspirations of the Syrian people” was ranked fourth. Addressing the crisis in Yemen came in last, even below the category of “other”.
The Arab Center Washington DC said 60 percent of Arabs “follow the US presidential race on a regular or occasional basis”, and the majority – 59 percent – keep up with developments via satellite television. Thirty percent track the news via the internet, the survey showed. The think tank, led by Executive Director Khalil Dahshan, is a non-profit that describes its mission as “furthering economic, political, and social understanding of the Arab World in the United States.” The margin of error for each country-level sample is pegged at 5 percent. – KUNA