Hungarian public opinion on world leaders: Putin favored over Merkel

I ended yesterday’s post saying that Hungarians still favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump despite the biased reporting by Judit Járai, Washington correspondent of MTI, the Hungarian Telegraphic Agency. This is especially surprising in view of the constant attacks on Hillary and Bill Clinton in the right-wing, pro-government press. See, for example, the many articles dealing with Clinton, always in a negative light, in Magyar Idők.

Thanks to a recent public opinion poll by the Pew Research Center conducted in ten European and four Asia-Pacific countries as well as Canada and the United States, we have a fairly up-to-date assessment of opinions about the United States, the American people, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin. The following European countries were included in the survey: France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

pew2

President Obama has remained a very popular leader in most of the ten European countries studied. The Swedes (93%), the Dutch (91%), and the Germans (86%) are most enthusiastic about him. In Poland and Hungary enthusiasm for the American president is less than overwhelming (58%). As for the Greeks (41%), even the Chinese (52%) have a higher opinion of Obama. Obama’s median score in Europe is 77%.

Hillary Clinton is less popular than Obama, but she still has a 59% median approval rating in Europe. Her regional pattern of approval is similar to that of Obama. The Swedes, the Germans, and the Dutch have a very high opinion of her while only 44% of Hungarians have confidence in the Democratic candidate as opposed to 33% who do not. The rest (23%) have no opinion, which indicates that far too many Hungarians don’t have enough information to make a choice. Citizens of western European countries are, on balance, much better informed.

Opinions about Donald Trump are strongly negative in Europe. Again, the greatest lack of confidence in the Republican candidate is in western Europe: Sweden (92%), Germany (89%), the Netherlands (88%), France (85%). In Poland and Hungary only 43% and 42% of the population have a negative opinion of Trump. Again, we see that Poles and Hungarians don’t know enough about the American candidates. In the case of Hungary,  37% of those questioned didn’t have an opinion on Trump. In Poland, the situation was even worse: 42% didn’t answer or didn’t have an opinion. The percent of Trump sympathizers is highest in Italy (21%), Hungary (20%), Poland (15%), and the United Kingdom (12%). Greece is an interesting case. Greeks have no confidence in either Clinton (78%) or Trump (76%).

The Pew survey released more detailed data on Italy and the UK. They wanted to know whether the Forza Italia and UKIP voters had more confidence in Trump than voters of other parties. And indeed, 30% of Forza Italia and UKIP voters preferred Trump to Clinton. This breakdown of Trump supporters in Italy and the United Kingdom inspired Magyar Nemzet to approach the Pew Research Center for more detailed data on the Hungarian situation. On the basis of the information provided, they came to the conclusion that 26% of Fidesz and 28% of Jobbik voters have confidence in Trump as a world leader. Higher than the national average of 20%.

Even if the anti-Clinton propaganda didn’t quite succeed, the Orbán government’s anti-Merkel campaign certainly did. While a month and a half ago the Swedes (84%), the Dutch (83%), the Germans (73%), the French (71%), and the Brits (69%) believed that Merkel is a competent world leader, the majority of southern Europeans (Italians, Spaniards, Greeks) had no confidence in her. She is, not surprisingly, most unpopular in Greece (89%). But Hungary’s rejection rate is also very high, 63%, and its approval rate of Merkel, at 29%, is the second lowest in Europe.

When it comes Vladimir Putin as a responsible world leader, Hungary has the dubious distinction of being the most confident (38%) in the Russian president of any country surveyed in Europe. I may add that Poles have the lowest number of Putin fans (7%). Putin’s popularity in Hungary is boosted by Fidesz and Jobbik voters. Forty-nine percent of Fidesz voters and 48% of Jobbik sympathizers trust Putin as a world leader, a good 10% higher than the Hungarian median. As Gábor Horváth, foreign affairs journalist of Népszabadság, wryly remarked, “it is a strange turn of history that the right- or extreme-right respondents trust a former KGB colonel more” than Angela Merkel. And if we add to this result the high number of Trump admirers, an interesting picture emerges. Hungarians don’t seem to realize that Putin is a danger to their own region and that, based on what he has said about alliances, Trump would be as well. This is what happens when nine-tenths of the media is under the thumb of an autocratic ruler served by minions like Judit Járai.

August 15, 2016

 

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dos929
Guest
In my opinion, and for many reasons, both candidates are unfit for the role of the US Presidency. Whatever the opinion-polls say it is a fair assumption that the majority of people whichever country they live in are not familiar with the intricate politics that define their own lives. Their opinions are driven by the media they read or listen to, and they read and listen only when it is directly affecting their own lives. The star example of this of course is Hungary, which after 45 years of Soviet domination still can have a favourable opinion of a dictator like Putin. However, if one would question these people about any concrete facts concerning the subject of their belief, most of them would not know anything at all, or whatever they would say it would be based on false information. Their opinion largely is driven by propaganda; and in Hungary’ case it is the very effective FIDESZ misinformation machine. More to point though that the Obama regime had and still has so many failures in their policies, internal and external, that it has driven millions of Americans towards the right of US politics. That Trump is unelectable is beyond question,… Read more »
webber
Guest

Welcome to democracy. In democracies, no President or Prime Minister satisfies all the people. S/he can’t. The majority is all s/he can aim to satisfy.

And since you seem so uninformed about democacies, let me remind you – after four (or five) years, if the majority is unsatisfied, they can elect someone else, who will be unsatisfactory in a different way.

That is democracy. Beats any other system I can think of.

pappp
Guest
Putin is simply a better political player than the Americans or the Germans. That’s all. I know people will contest that saying Russia is poor, people die early, the economy is in tatters etc. but this is not what the game is about for Putin or Orban. They are still there, rich, exercise power and influence. An autocracy such as Russia can have a strategy that is set once and then it’s executed. In other, more democratic countries administrations, officials come and go, there is no firm strategy to be executed. Russia set to get CEE back and it’s been executing that strategy for 10-15 years now. It is working apparently. Also, Russia cares about the CEE (of course in order to bind it to Russia and divide the big European political blocks) while the West does not really care (this lack of care is compensated for and veiled by the EU fund transfers to the CEE). Putin succeeded to move the public opinion of Hungary via courting (using them as agents) Fidesz and Jobbik to the point where the enemy is now “the West” and the West does not see this and does not care. The conservative, right wing… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

Both of the above comments wish to maintain that Mr. Putin is more astute and plays an (imagined) political game better than politicians in the United States. Further, that because of this, the sympathies of the Great Hungarian Nation and its Leadership prefer the KGB man over the shoddy goods that the US has to offer. OK, if that is what they wish to think, its OK by me. It is further OK that through Orban’s policies of thievery first and flirting with the Russian bear that once again The Great Hungarian Nation comes under the hegemony/occupation of Russia. Great idea! It worked so well last time. The Mighty Hungarian Electorate, after almost 30 years of ‘freedom’ are happy to find themselves led by a band of Hungarian plunderers back into the arms of the Russian Bear. A nation of dingbats.
Elöre! Hajrá Magyarok!

pappp
Guest
This is not so simple, bimbi. People very often want, even demand things which are not rational and/or very likely lead to doom. You can’t simply blame them. Aside from Hungarian politics during WWII, just look at Serbia under Milosevic (or Hungary under Orban). It’s very recent history. Milosevic was popular, beloved, a hero, reelected several times even when the country was collapsing. Now Serbia is a pariah and very poor. Did people “learn” their lesson? Probably not, because this isn’t how people think. You start from an erroneous – liberal – assumption. You assume that people must (it is imperative) rationally vote, decide and learn from the mistakes if the decision is disastrous. They should make a good decision and improve their poor, uneducated, oppressed, humiliated lives. If they make a bad decision, than that’s their fault, they must learn from it. if they elect corrupt leaders who take advantage of them, than than’s too bad. (Did Germany learn from losing WWI, from the huge compensation obligations…?) But the thing is exactly because of these (poverty, feeling humiliated, craving pride once in a lifetime etc.) people are unable to make a “wise” “rational” decision and there are no “wise… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

Dear Pa,
We seem to be agreed on one thing, namely:
The Mighty Hungarian Electorate, after almost 30 years of ‘freedom’ are happy to find themselves led by a band of Hungarian plunderers back into the arms of the Russian Bear. A nation of dingbats.
Elöre! Hajrá Magyarok!

Member

“Learn a lesson: Become (like) your own enemy!”

“Pappp,” as usual, is describing a mess, echoing that deplorable villains are successfully, indeed “cleverly,” doing deplorable things, and that the “liberals” are dreamers (losers?). Just what is Pappp recommending: That these deplorable acts and people should be imitated by their opposition? I would say that that was fatalist defeatism of the worst kind (or worse). What is Pappp’s point? That we should get smart and become our enemies?

Pappp writes that he/she is doing positive things behind the scenes. I wonder what? No sign of constructive strategy here. (Or is that just for dreamers and losers?)

webber
Guest

Pappp has some agenda, that much is clear. What the agenda is, I do not know, but he plays very loose with the facts (see my comment to him below).

pappp
Guest

I had many points, but one of the points is “the West” should be more strategic because Russia treats the CEE as an ideological battle ground where it is fighting for the minds of the people. It is succeeding. I am sorry about that, but Hungary is now one of the more pro Russian countries. If this is not a success after 45 years of Russian occupation than I dont know what is. I would rather force facing the uncomfortable truth than remain silent at this blog. Look, if your enemy is a combination of an army and a mafia, then without seriously toughening up, I dont see much future.

Member

What does “be more strategic” mean, concretely speaking?

pappp
Guest

A good article about Putin’s sacking of Ivanov, but this isn’t the interesting thing.

There are two comments only, one presumably by a British person to which a Hungarian answers and is – apparently – pro-Russian.

This is just one instance, but Hungarians apparently admire Putin, 38% is a very significant block of voters.

Most people love a strong personality who can be tough and resist “liberal dicta”. People crave leadership and decisiveness and I am afraid they can’t get that from either from the Hungarian left-wing nor the European leaders (look up merkeln in the German dictionary) and especially not from the EU.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/mark-galeotti/putin-s-incredible-shrinking-circle

FreeWheeling
Guest

It’s not surprising that the Hungarian electorate take to authoritarian figures:
– their 20th century was dominated by authoritarian figures such as Horthy and Kádár
– an aged electorate (only those under 30 years were not inculcated under Communist rule and how it affected people’s sense of “order”
– a culture has resulted that celebrates the past far more than looks to the future

Instead of the hard work of developing democracy and a civic culture, many Hungarians across the spectrum favour the old-fashioned command and control of a father figure which can work in the short run but will eventually fail at a great cost to the country’s long-term standing.

Furthermore, the positioning of being Moscow-friendly isn’t all that much different from differing parts of the political spectrum in Austria and Germany.

webber
Guest

“Most people love a strong personality who can be tough and resist “liberal dicta”. ”

Most people??? 38% is “most people”????
Since when?
72% is most people, and most people hate that sort of leader.

webber
Guest

62%, not 72%.
A hefty majority. If any Western politician got 62% of the vote s/he would become the toast of his/her party.

pappp
Guest
It must be an interesting agenda that is so unclear that you are still guessing after so many weeks. There is no agenda. OK, 38% is not most but it is a very significant block that in a first past the post system Hungary now has is enough to win. Hungary is apparently one of the most pro Russian and anti Merkel countries there is. Why is that? I could only repeat myself, people hate the indecisiveness of Merkel (who is a woman which is not a plus in Hungary) and who lets in migrants and value the resistance of Putin agains the Western liberal ideas. Most people hate capitalism and the demands of if (as often put forward by the EU) and would like to resist but cannot, they feel weak and unable to do so. They hate this weakness of theirs. Orban is trying and this is one of the reasons of his relative popularity (dont tell me his “freedom fight” against foreign banks, water and energy companies was not popular). But Putin does resist the West (prohibits foreign import to prefer domestic cheese of whatever) and Hungarian people, after of course hearing the propaganda, appreciate that. In… Read more »
Member

If “Pappp” is not a troll with an agenda then I am not a Eukaryote.

pappp
Guest

Then what “the agenda” is? Isn’t it strange that apparently educated people like you and webber can’t come up with a plausible agenda? I am a born and bred Hungarian, living in Hungary with no connection whatsoever (however tenuous) to Fidesz (or to any party) or the (any) government. You can argue with me, but please stop calling me a troll with an agenda. You are both ridiculous.

Member

“Pappp”: I named your agenda: fatalist defeatism. (It is not only an agenda; it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

But you hinted earlier that you were actually doing something behind the scenes, so I asked you what it was? If you really are doing something constructive, I’m prepared to swallow my words and apologize.

(But the only way to immunize against being called a troll is to use your real name and stand openly behind your words. Critics of the government are forgiven anonymity, but they are not the ones suspected of trollery. Your postings have all the familiar hallmarks of the Orban trolls, except they are cast in “good cop” form: “Look guys, I’m an anti-Orban democrat, just like you, it’s just that [and then the usual Turul Triumphalist slogans] (1) Orban is unbeatable, and (2) the opposition are losers, so…” “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’ intrate”)
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petofi
Guest

Who gives a shit what Hungarians think? (That’s presuming that Hungarians CAN think, which is no given.)

Hungarians react when their emotional buttons are pushed in a predictable way. By now, the KGB knows exactly how to do that; and have passed the intelligence on to the little pot-bellied boy in shorts.

Istvan
Guest

Eva the truth is even though Trump has collapsed politically and he has even now raised the possibility that he could lose (Is Trump getting ready to lose @cnn) he none the less has more support among Americans than Hungarians. Today’s NBC News poll has Trump at 37% with Clinton at 43%.

As I indicated in prior posts Trump once had a big lead among active duty, reserve, and retired military which has collapsed. Believe it or not Trump now trails Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in the military community in the USA. Now 38.7% support Johnson and 30.9% support Trump, with Clinton at just 14% according to one poll I saw. (see http://thehill.com/policy/defense/288546-poll-libertarian-johnson-beating-trump-clinton-among-active-duty-troops ) Because of the gun rights issue many in the military simply can’t vote for Clinton. Moving to Johnson is in my opinion positive for the Trump supporters in the military at least they realize Trump may be effectively in the Russian camp and he has disrespected some of those who have served my nation with honor.

bimbi
Guest

Istvan,

…Eva… blah, blah, retired military… blah, blah… proud… blah, blah…

Yeah, right, thanks.

petofi
Guest

Yeah, Bimbi, Istvan is a monstrous windbag who loves the sound of his own bleating…

Member

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Istvan
Guest

This article on the Putin’s thinking on Trump is interesting https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/16/vladmir-putin-donald-trump-ties-russia-us-election

Zoli
Guest
Thanks for the article. It shows that Hungarians are not as brainwashed compared with their Western Peers. I guess there is one benefit from having lived behind the Iron curtain, namely it shielded us from generations of neo-liberal globalist indoctrination. It is most obvious now that the neo-liberal globalists who dominate the West politically and ideologically are showing themselves to be an ethno-cultural suicide cult. Glad to see that Hungarians together with other Central European peers are staying out of this one. Unlike most cities in Western Europe, one can still walk around in cities in Poland, Hungary or Romania in the evenings with one’s wife, without having to worry that a group of newly arrived “Gynecologists” will give her an un-solicited exam. I did visit Vienna about five years ago and did walk the streets late at night with my wife and we felt relatively safe. I would not do that in any major West European city now. This is just the beginning of the transformational effect of this sick cult, which managed to capture our higher education institutions after WW2 and from there they took over the mainstream media and most mainstream political parties in the Western World.… Read more »
Guest

Thanks for making me laugh!

Poor delusional Hungarian(s) …

Maybe it’s really time for you to go (back) into Putin’s Eurasian Empire!

Then we Westerners will have the chance again for cheaper tourism – like in the good ol’ Kadar times …

PS:

Do you really believe the stuff you’re writing here? Have a look at the Hungarian economic news like this:
http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/business_confidence_in_hungary_down_from_april_peak_in_july.31690.html

e-2016
Guest

Most liberal or conservative Hungarians remain delusional.
Wolfi is right, but you made a risky choice by marrying a Hungarian woman. I am Hungarian, but I avoided this mistake.

This delusion stems from surrounded by generations of liars.

The voices of Ady, Karinthy, Petofi has left no imprint on the ordinary citizens. Just added to the confusion.

I have realized the value of honesty, when I arrived from Budapest in Tübingen, or by moving further to USA.

Guest
Regarding the Pew data as an always informative data conduit of insights. It is research with integrity. Some takeaways after looking at some of the data. Truly the EU should consider how different Magyarorszag is in its relationship to a grouping of various European states. Taking an average response of the Euro countries (54%) and comparing the Magyarororszag response (29%) we see that Europeans are 86% more likely than Magyars to have confidence in Merkel. With Putin, 38% of Magyars say that have confidence in him to do the right thing as opposed to 22% in Europe. This indeed shows Magyars, 72% more likely than Europe to view Putin as their ‘confidence’ man. Much greater than the Euro average. Looks like Putin can say he’s got some insiders working diligently in developing and forming opinion in the ‘one that got away’. Like a clip from Poltergeist, he can probably say ‘They’re back!’ On a positive note , where almost 7 out of 10 millenials in Magyarorszag (69%) say they have a favorable view of the US, it could suggest they have a way of being open in communications and making their own minds up in some respects. It was interesting… Read more »
petofi
Guest

Anybody believing in Hungarian statistics is a fool quietly collecting his forints to buy the Margit Bridge…

webber
Guest

“Leftist fanatics”? (I’m not a leftist- who are you talking about?)
A “place where women can no longer feel safe to walk the streets at night?”
Where in Western Europe is this?
You were in Vienna once, or twice?
I was there a few months ago. Women were walking about all over the place at night without fear. It is a very safe town.

Zoli
Guest
I think the drop in tourism in Europe will have the last word on this subject once the final numbers for the year will come out. There are already reports all over Europe of significantly less traffic in restaurants, hotels, and airlines are reporting a big drop in demand as well. I live in the US and I can tell you this much, the 1,200 women that were molested on the streets of Germany by over 2,000 newly arrived “Gynecologists” has had the effect of turning many people off from visiting Western Europe altogether. All the reports of smaller attacks in swimming pools, on streets and so on, may only reach a small segment of the Western World audience, but the NYE attacks could not be ignored, even though the mainstream media and the German authorities tried to do so for the first few days. As for Vienna, I am sure that most local women still go out and walk, but in all fairness you should not assume that you know how they feel about their personal safety. Vienna has also been a place where migrant sex attacks did take place in the last year or so. As for those… Read more »
webber
Guest

Austrian police are more than a little vigilant. They will arrest a person at the slightest sign public disturbance.

Zoli
Guest

I don’t know how vigilant the Austrian police is in terms of arresting those who cause a public disturbance, but we do know that they were just as vigilant in trying to cover up the sex attacks, just like their German peers.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/01/08/sex-attack-in-austria-too-police-deliberately-tried-to-cover-them-up/

webber
Guest

sorry. Breitbart is NOT a news source.
You can surely find an Austrian one.
If it were true, Austrian news would have reported it.

Guest

Repeating your idiotic nonsense will not help you!

So you stay in the USA – no problem.
While other tourists come to Western Europe because they don’t feel safe in Egypt, Turkey etc any more …

PS:

Repeating all that breitfart propaganda is really stupid. There were “incidents”, sure but not nearly as many as you suggest.

Zoli
Guest

Thanks for sharing your delusions. There is currently no evidence that Europe is benefiting from diverted tourism from Egypt or Turkey. There is plenty of evidence however that tourism has taken a plunge in the EU, especially in France.

http://www.france24.com/en/20160807-tourism-france-still-suffering

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-07/french-tourism-slumps-as-terror-attacks-spook-foreign-travelers

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/01/brussels-terror-attacks-hit-europe-wide-travel.html

e-2016
Guest

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/us/politics/donald-trump-stephen-bannon-paul-manafort.html?_r=0

A bright Breitbart editor is now the Trump campaign manager.

Breitbart should not be labeled conservative.
It is good reporting.
It is telling us honestly that we are under a relentless attack.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/12/22/can-we-trust-vladimir-putin/

Guest

@0000 or whatever your latest nick will be:

Please lay off that shite!

Breitfart is no t news – it is extreme right wing propaganda, mainly lies!

If they told you that two and two makes four, you’d better check it first!

Anyone who quotes them can be considered either as stupid or as a right wing troll too!

PS:

Have you tried kuruc.info – you might feel better there …

Guest

You visit Vienna one time five years ago, and now you’re an expert on Austrian society? Let’s chalk that up to another of your self-proclaimed “skills”. Or does that insight into understanding society come from you yourself being a migrant in search of a better life moving from Romania to Canada and now to the US?

Member

OT: This year is the 60th anniversary of the 1956 revolution. I am happy to report that Orban ordered a great song at the expense of the Hungarian taxpayers from the composer of Live in Vida Loca, Desmond Child. (To be fair the composer written songs to Bonnie Tyler, Aerosmith, Kiss, etc. ) I assume there is not a single Hungarian who could of come up with a great tune.
Orban apparently asked Desmond back in April to come up with the song. I wonder if Orban also shared with Mr. Child, how he feels about gay marriages, and what is his real opinion about Desmond’s family , who is happily married to his same sex partner with whom they raise two children.

And the song:
p.s. There are some jokes already circulating as the lyrics are kind of misleading…
“Magyarorszag halszagu” can be heard, but really it is “Magyarorszag halld szavunk”
“Hungary smells like fish” versus “Hungary, hear our voice”

Member

Eurovision material. At one point they sound like the Sound of Silence (“… by the flash of the neon lights …”). Or is it only me?

Bowen
Guest

This is easily the best song I’ve ever heard that’s had Maria Schmidt in the recording booth.

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