The methodology behind a new Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey

©Arab News

RIYADH: Voters across the US will decide on Nov. 3 whether President Donald Trump will remain their leader for another four years. The White House occupant is challenged by Joe Biden, who served two terms as Barack Obama’s vice-president and has been a prominent Democrat politician since the 1970s.

As part of its continued partnership with Arab News to reveal the public’s views on current events, YouGov conducted an opinion poll in late September 2020 to gauge how Arabs across the Middle East view the 2020 US election, the candidates and their policies.

The main aim of the Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey is to understand what the region anticipates from a future US presidential administration.

The survey was conducted using YouGov’s online survey methodology. The respondents were picked from among YouGov’s global panel of over 8 million individuals across the world who agreed to take part in the online surveys.

An email was sent to panelists selected at random from the panel, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to questions. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are based on the responses to the Arab News/YouGov pan-Arab survey.

The total sample size was 3,097 Arabic speakers, aged 18 years or above, residing across 18 Arab-speaking countries in North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf. Fieldwork was undertaken between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27

this year. The overall margin

of error is ±1.761 percent. The sample was weighted as per the population distribution of all the countries covered. Weights were also added in line with regional distribution of age groups, and

for equal representation of men and women.

A staggering majority were not familiar with how the US president was elected: 82 percent agreed that the candidate with the most votes across the board will win the presidential elections, omitting the Electoral College which is the ultimate decider of the presidential vote.

The survey results have been rebased, in line with accepted industry standards, to remove “Don’t Know” or “Can’t Say” answers to compare only relevant answers.

A majority of the respondents (76 percent) said they believe in the significance of the next US president and his impact on the Arab world in 2021. Regardless of who will fill the post on Inauguration Day, residents of the Arab region believe in the importance and impact the US president will have in 2021.

When asked which candidate would be better for the Arab world, most respondents (49 percent) said neither candidate would be, but Biden (40 percent) was still considered a better option than Trump (12 percent).

Analysts say this in part reflects the emotional nature with which Arabs are seeing the candidates and their potential administrations despite the facts on the ground. For, although Biden is not as well known as Trump, he is perceived more favorably perhaps because he is Trump’s opponent.

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