More than one third of Europeans hold a negative opinion of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to an annual survey by Transatlantic Trends released on Wednesday.
Less than one quarter (23 percent) of Europeans reported a favorable view of Romney, while 39 percent viewed him negatively. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they did not know or declined to answer.
In comparison, 82 percent of Europeans viewed U.S. President Barack Obama positively. If allowed to vote in a U.S. Presidential election this year, three quarters of European Union residents said they would vote for Obama, compared to only 8 percent for Romney.
In an interview with CNBC on September 9, John McCain said Romney had high “unfavorables”, although he did not elaborate what these were.
Romney has been criticized for his lack of foreign policy experience and nous. He caused offense on his first diplomatic trip by questioning the UK’s readiness to hold the Olympic Games, in an interview with NBC which broadcast hours before Romney attended a reception at Downing Street.
(Read More: Romney Comments on Olympics Rile Brits)
In addition, Democrats have mocked Romney as out of touch since he described Russia as the U.S.’s greatest geo-political enemy at August’s Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.
European approval of Obama’s foreign policy remains high at 71 percent. However, it has dropped 12 points from 83 percent since the President gained power in 2009.
Transatlantic Trends surveys U.S. and European public opinion each year, and covers 12 European Union member states, plus Turkey and Russia. A random survey of approximately 1,000 men and women over 18 years old in each country are interviewed.
— By CNBC.com's Katy Barnato