LONDON (Reuters) - More than 90 percent of northern Europeans would vote for President Barack Obama if they were able to cast ballots in the United Sates’ election next week because they see Mitt Romney as too right wing, British pollster YouGov said on Wednesday.
While U.S. polls show Obama and Romney are heading for a photo finish, European voters in seven northern European countries expressed overwhelming support for the Hawaiian-born 51-year-old White House incumbent.
Romney, a 65-year-old former private equity investor, is simply too much of an unknown quantity and too right wing for European tastes, said Joe Twyman, director of Political and Social Research at the pollster.
“By continental European standards, Obama is considered right-of-centre or even right-wing,” Twyman told Reuters by telephone.
“Then you have Romney who’s even more right wing. You’ve moved even further from European comfort levels,” he said.
In a Europe grappling with economic crisis and welfare systems that bond investors say are unsustainable, the rhetoric of the U.S. presidential race simply does not press the same buttons.
“Accusations of socialism (against Obama) don’t exactly resonate somewhere like Denmark,” Twyman said.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt reshuffled her cabinet this month, appointing the leader of the Socialist People’s Party as growth and business minister.
France’s socialist president, Francois Hollande, has pledged the make the wealthy pay a 75-percent tax rate on annual incomes above 1 million euros ($1.30 million).
Yougov’s Twyman said the fact that Obama, who charmed many Europeans with a speech ahead of the 2008 presidential vote calling for stronger U.S. ties with Europe, has been president for four years helped his profile.
“People know a lot more Obama than about Romney. After all, he’s been president for a while,” he said.
The survey questioned a total of about 7500 people in Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. The populations of struggling euro zone economies of southern Europe were not included in the poll.
YouGov’s poll of voter sentiment in the United States showed Obama had 48 percent support among registered voters while Romney had support of 46 percent of voters.
Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge