19th Edition of the BRIE (December 2008)

19th Edition of the BRIE (December 2008)

Press Summary


  • Universe: Spaniards of both sexes, aged 18 and over.
  • Sample size: 1,000 interviews.
  • Sample area: National. All Autonomous Communities including Ceuta and Melilla.
  • Sample structure: Stratified multi-stage. Proportional, according to the criteria of size of the population of each Spanish province, with proportional quotas according to the age and sex of the population applied at the individual level. Sample error is ±2.9% for global data for the most unfavourable scenario of p = q = 0.5 and a confidence interval of 95.5%.
  • Methodology used: Computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI system).
  • Survey period: Field work carried out between 4 and 17 December 2008.
  • Field Work: Gabinete de Análisis Demoscópico (GAD).


  • 90% of Spaniards have a positive opinion of Obama’s election.

What is your opinion of the election of Barack Obama as President of the US?

  • Very positive
  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Very negative

Graph 1. Opinion of Barack Obama

  • This opinion varies very little according to the ideology of the interviewees. Both those on the right and on those on the left agree that it is excellent.

Graph 2. Opinion of Obama’s election, according to ideological self-identification

  • Obama receives a 7 (5 points above Bush), making him the highest-rated international leader.

Graph 3. Average rating of leaders on a scale of 0 to 10

  • The image of the US has improved significantly –by more than 15%– as a result of Obama’s election.

Table 1. What is your opinion of the US as a country?

(%)June 2008December 2008
Very positive12.0014
Somewhat positive4251
Not very positive3024
Not at all positive126
Don’t know / No answer44
  • 70% believe there will be significant changes in US foreign policy.

Do you believe there will be a very significant, quite significant, not very significant or not at all significant change in US foreign policy?

Graph 4. Degree of change in US foreign policy

  • 70% believe Obama’s election will be beneficial for Spain.

Graph 5. How do you think Obama’s election will affect Spain?

  • While there is still a broad consensus, it can be seen that the percentage of those who think that Obama’s election will have positive effects for Spain varies according to how respondents say they voted in the most recent general election, ranging from 83% among those who voted PSOE to 69% among those who voted PP.

Graph 6. Opinion on whether Obama’s election will be beneficial for Spain, according to reported vote in 2008 general elections

  • At the same time, 62% think there will be changes in Spanish foreign policy.

Graph 7. Do you think there will be changes in Spanish foreign policy as a result of Obama’s election?

  • Among those who voted PSOE, 72% expect change, while this is the case of only 59% among those who voted PP.

Graph 8. Opinion on whether there will be changes in Spain’s foreign policy, according to reported vote in 2008 general elections


  • For the Spanish, great expectations of change involving the US contrast with the continuity that, in their opinion, has been the dominant feature of 2008.

Looking back on 2008, in your opinion, has each of the following issues improved, stayed the same or worsened?:

  • Spain’s influence in the EU
  • Relations between Spain and the US
  • Illegal immigration to Spain
  • Relations between Spain and Morocco
  • Relations between Spain and Venezuela
  • The threat of international terrorism against Spain

Graph 9. Improved, stayed the same or worsened in 2008


  • 50% have a positive opinion of the results of the Washington summit.

What is your opinion of the results of the Washington summit in terms of the international financial crisis: are they very important, quite important, not very important or not at all important?

  • Very important
  • Quite important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important

Graph 10. Results of the Washington Summit

  • However, the majority, 64%believe there will be no short-term solution to the crisis.

Graph 11. Do you think that the summit and subsequent meetings will be able to end the crisis in the short term?

  • Spaniards feel vulnerable to the international financial crisis, which they consider the greatest threat, ahead of international terrorism.

Among the potential threats to Spain’s vital interests in the coming years, do you consider each of the following to be a very significant or significant threat, or no threat at all?:

  • International terrorism
  • Financial crisis
  • Globalisation

Graph 12. Degree of threat

  • Most Spaniards believe that the economic situation in the country is the result of a combination of national and international factors.

Graph 13. Are Spain’s economic troubles due to the international crisis or to domestic factors?

  • There are very significant differences according to the way Spaniards vote, with domestic factors emphasised by four times more PP voters than PSOE voters (40% vs 13%).

Graph 14. Origin of the crisis according to reported vote in the 2008 general election


  • 75% have a positive opinion of Spain’s presence at the Washington summit.

What is your opinion of Spain’s presence at the summit?:

  • Very good
  • Good
  • Poor
  • Very poor

Graph 15. Opinion on Spain’s Presence at the Washington Summit

  • Spanish are apparently ambitious: 78% think that Spain should have more power and influence on the international scene.

Which statement about Spain’s power do you agree with more? Spain’s power is fine as it is or Spain should have more power and influence.

Graph 16. Should Spain have more power and influence?

  • But at the same time this is contradictory, since 59% say that the G-8 is not a top priority, and that ‘there are other more important things’.

In your opinion, should it be a top priority for Spain to become a permanent member of the G-8 –the group made up of the world’s richest countries– or are there more important things for our foreign policy?

Graph 17. Is belonging to the G-8 a top priority for Spain or are there other more important things?