Two-thirds of Singaporeans favour Joe Biden as next US president: Survey

SINGAPORE – About two-thirds of Singaporeans want Mr Joe Biden to be elected the next US president, a new survey showed, with the Democratic presidential candidate the most popular in the city state than in its Asia-Pacific peers.

But Mr Biden fared rather poorly among the Taiwanese. His popularity trailed behind President Donald Trump 30 per cent to 42 per cent.

The survey, released by British-based YouGov research firm on Thursday (Oct 15), showed 66 per cent of respondents in Singapore favouring Mr Biden, while only 12 per centprefer Mr Trump. And one in three Singaporeans thinks Mr Trump performed “terribly” as the US president.

In contrast, more than half of respondents in the city rated Mr Biden either “great”, “good” or “average” as a potential president, although only 47 per cent of them are confident that he would win the presidential election due on Nov 3.

The YouGov survey was conducted between Sept 24 and Oct 5 among a sample of 1,011 Singaporeans and 10,386 respondents across eight countries or territories in Asia-Pacific, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and Taiwan.

In general, Mr Biden is the favourite presidential choice across the board, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. In these three countries, almost two-thirds of the respondents prefer him over Mr Trump.

Mr Trump on the other hand, is less popular in all territories surveyed, with a score of around 10-20 per cent, except in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

He is least popular in Malaysia: Only 9 per cent of respondents prefer him over Mr Biden, who scored 62 per cent. More than two-thirds of Malaysians, or 68 per cent of them, think he performed “terribly” as a president.

In most areas surveyed, Mr Trump is more likely to be seen as a “poor” or “terrible” president (48-68 per cent) than a “great”, “good” or “average” one (23-46 per cent).

But in the Philippines and Taiwan, more than half of the respondents (60 per cent and 59 per cent respectively) see Mr Trump as average or better, compared with 30 per cent who see him as poor or terrible.

With Mr Biden, most respondents in every place surveyed rated him “great”, “good” or “average”.

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But in Hong Kong, the number of people who view Biden negatively (20 per cent) outnumbers those who view him positively (12 per cent).

Mr Biden is leading Mr Trump in the city as its preferred US presidential choice by only a narrow margin: 42 per cent to 36 per cent.

When it comes to Mr Trump’s impact on their lives, where they live and the world, responses are largely negative, the YouGov survey showed. But in Taiwan, there are more people who think Mr Trump’s presidency will be good for the territory.

“In the light of his strong stance on international relations in the region, Taiwanese people tend to think the President is more likely to have had a positive (45 per cent) than negative (33 per cent) impact on Taiwan. This stands in contrast to Joe Biden, where views are split on whether his impact would be positive (26 per cent) or negative (28 per cent),” YouGov said.

While both Taiwanese and Filipinos are split on the impact Mr Trump has had on themselves personally, they join the rest of the region in thinking that his impact on the world as a whole has been more negative than positive.

Majority of the areas surveyed expect a positive impact from Mr Biden, except in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“Again, Taiwan and Hong Kong are the exceptions, with people in both places being split on whether the impact on themselves personally or where they live would be good or bad,” YouGov said.

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“President Trump is clearly seen by Taiwanese people as the candidate more likely to improve US-Taiwan relations (42 per cent versus 14 per cent for Biden)… Likewise, Hong Kongers are also more likely to see him as the superior choice for the American economy (34 per cent vs 19 per cent),” YouGov said.

“Everywhere else, and on all five topics we asked about – international relations, climate change, coronavirus, economics and peace – people tend to think Biden would do a better job than Trump.”

A Reuters/Ipsos polls on Oct 4 in the US show Mr Biden having a 10 percentage point lead over Mr Trump, although his advantage in battleground states is less pronounced.

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