He might be struggling at home, but President Obama is rock-star popular Down Under. A nationally representative opinion poll conducted by the Sydney-based think-tank the Lowy Institute for International Policy has found Australians prefer Barack Obama to Mitt Romney to become the next President of the United States by more than an 8 to 1 ratio (80% compared with 9%).
The President's numbers are even better than four years ago when Australians preferred Obama to his then-rival Sen. John McCain by around a 4 to 1 ratio (73% compared with 16%).
The Lowy Institute's Executive Director Dr Michael Wesley said "the results suggest the alliance is about as rock-solid as you could get. For President Obama, I guess it's too bad Australians can't vote in US elections."
But it's not only the President who is doing well in Australia: US Marines are just as popular. When asked about the new US military base that has recently been established in Australia's tropical north, a large majority (74%) of Australians say that they are in favor of up to 2,500 US soldiers being based in Darwin.
Forty-six per cent are even in favor of allowing more than 2,500 soldiers to be based in Australia.
Adding to the good news for the US, support for the Australia-US alliance is at its highest levels since the Lowy Institute began polling in 2005, with 87% of Australians saying the alliance relationship with the United States is either very important (59%) or fairly important (28%) for Australia's security.
Similarly, three-quarters (74%) of Australians say the United States will be Australia's most-important security partner over the next 10 years.
The 2012 Lowy Institute Poll reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1,005 Australian adults conducted in Australia between 26 March and 10 April 2012. (Medianet International--AsiaNet)