What Would Happen if the Whole World Were Voting Today?
Donald Trump Jr. thinks Trumpism is far more popular globally than it actually is.
This article is part of Election 2020: America Votes, FP’s round-the-clock coverage of the U.S. election results as they come in, with short dispatches from correspondents and analysts around the world. The America Votes page is free for all readers.
Donald Trump Jr. has published an interesting take on the electoral predictive maps common on Twitter, showing the entire world supporting Trump save for a handful of countries including Mexico, China, and India. Mexico, of course, has long suffered through the presidency of Donald Trump, who promised that the U.S. neighbor would pay for a border wall that never materialized. And as well as blaming China for the coronavirus, Trump supporters have spent the past few weeks trying to paint former Vice President Joe Biden as soft on Beijing and spreading conspiracy theories about his son Hunter Biden’s alleged Chinese connections.
Why Trump Jr. marked out India as a blue state is somewhat of a mystery. Contrary to what the Trump Jr. map shows, most of the world distrusts Trump, and the popularity of the United States has dropped sharply worldwide. But India is a rare exception: A majority of Indians say they trust Trump and his policies. In part that’s because of the strategic friendship between Trump and India’s Hindu-nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi—although Modi was also seen as friendly with former President Barack Obama—but Trump’s hostility toward both Muslims and China helps. Trump Jr. has surprising faith in some traditional U.S. opponents, however. India may be blue, but Iran, Russia, and North Korea are all imagined as GOP backers. Meanwhile, being called one of the world’s “shithole countries” has not deterred Liberia from backing Trump.
To be sure, Trump Jr. is not known as a student of world affairs (and may have taken the entire map from an alt-right poster) —which may be why his map shows Indian-administered Kashmir and India’s northeastern states as separate from India, Hainan as separate from China, and for some unknowable reason has Liberia as the only Democrat-supporting African nation. The motivations for these choices may be more domestic than international. And in India’s case, it perhaps reflects how Indian Americans are expected to vote. Polls suggest that 72 percent of Indian Americans, who comprise nearly 1 percent of the U.S. electorate, will likely vote for Biden. The group’s growing influence could even help flip Texas this year. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, is also of Indian descent, and deliberate mispronunciations of her name have become a staple of Republican events.