Complex Made Simple

Would Arabs vote Clinton or Trump?

As the US presidential elections near, Arabs living in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region share their views on whether they would vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, if given the chance.

Almost half of the population (47 per cent) of the MENA region would not vote for either Trump or Clinton for President of the United States, revealed the results of a survey commissioned by Saudi Arabia-based English-language news outlet, Arab News, and conducted by market research firm, YouGov. This highlights the regional unpopularity of both candidates.

Also, although the United States is geographically far away, a majority of the people (78 per cent) said the election outcome would directly impact the Arab world.

“The 2016 election has been a contest fought on personality as much as policy. But the survey shows just how deeply the Arab world is considering the very real issues at stake,” said Faisal J Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, highlighting the importance of the race to the MENA region.

“The poll was unique in putting the people of the Arab world in US voters’ shoes – and some of the results, particularly those regarding security and border control, show that Arab public opinion on the US election is more nuanced than many may think,” Abbas added.


Clinton or Trump?

Hillary Clinton proved to be a more popular candidate than Donald Trump in the Arab world, as 44 respondents said they would vote for her.

Only nine per cent said they would vote for Trump.


Divide over Syria, Iran

The Arab News/YouGov US election MENA poll, to which 3,017 people responded, highlighted the region’s divide on the key policy stances Clinton and Trump, notably on the war in Syria and the nuclear deal with Iran. The audience was split evenly over candidates’ viewpoints over these issues.

However, a majority of the audience agrees with some of Trump’s policies on abortion, security and border control.

Meanwhile, Clinton was favoured for her stances on climate change and immigrants in the US, among other issues.


Results in numbers

  • 12 per cent said “enthusiastic” or “satisfied” when asked about their feelings on Trump. Meanwhile, 72 per cent said they were “dissatisfied or upset”.
  • 49 per cent said they were “enthusiastic” or “satisfied” about Clinton, and 29 per cent were “dissatisfied or upset”.
  • 89 per cent stood against abortion, but said it should be allowed in some cases, such as rape or to protect the mother’s life.
  • 85 per cent stated that climate change was an existential threat.
  • 29 per cent said that, if they were American citizens, they would consider Russia to be the biggest threat facing the US today.
  • 41 per cent said crime is the most important issue facing ordinary Americans today.
  • 90 per cent they wouldn’t mind extra border restriction or protection measures, if they felt their country’s security was under threat.