U.S. elections - Romanian responses
After the elections held this Tuesday, November the 8th, Donald Trump is the 45th American president. Voter turnout was 55.6% of the total eligible voters, the lowest since the elections in 2000 between Al Gore and George Bush. Trump’s victory was a surprise because a great number of international political opinion polls were declaring Hillary Clinton the winner. Possible explanations were attributed to the Bradley effect, the spiral of silence, social desirability biases , phantom swings or last-minute change in vote .
Considering the numerous implications of this event, Questia Group has decided to ask its members what are their opinions on this topic. The research was made through an online survey on our platform, www.questia.ro, covering 1,490 respondents. The online survey was active between 9th and 10th of November 2016. The results are briefly presented below.
Respondents have declared that they were very interested (27.4 %) and somewhat interested (54.3%) in the US elections. The main sources of information they used throughout the campaign were Romanian TV channels (74.5%), articles distributed on social media (47%), Romanian online publications (37.6%) and American TV channels like CNN and Fox News (23.5%). Some of them (18.5%) read American online publications (like Washington Post, New York Times etc.) and also followed the candidates’ Facebook pages (16.6%).
Like the popular vote attributed to Hillary in the US (47.7 % as compared to 47.5% for Donald Trump), our respondents admitted sympathizing with Hillary in a proportion of 59.3% percent. In our panel, Donald was supported by 15.2 % of the respondents. However, we wanted to know whether there were other sympathized candidates and we asked if during the Democrat and Republican campaigns people have preferred others. An amount of 3.9% was directed to Bernie Sanders and 1.5 % to Ted Cruz. Some political analysts considered that Bernie Sanders could have had a better chance at winning the presidential elections. On the other hand, Ted Cruz, who was nominated by the Republican Party in the presidential campaign, rejected Trump’s nomination to presidency. Yet, some consider him as a possible candidate for the 2020 elections.
As for the implications of the US elections, respondents consider the result of average importance (48.7%) and large importance (31.5%) for Romania. In fact, 30.4% agree and 27.3% strongly agree that this will affect American investments in Romania. Also, 43.8% agree that NATO’s role will be affected by the elections, along with Russia’s role in Eastern Europe (37.4 %). This result is connected to Donald Trump’s declarations during his campaign regarding NATO, his ties to Russia and the fact that he is perceived as having proposed unpredictable foreign policies.