When asked which candidate they would prefer to win the next U.S. presidential election, Norway's lawmakers overwhelmingly selected Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump did not perform well.
Left-leaning Bernie Sanders is the Norwegian Parliament's preferred candidate to become next President of the United States of America. That's the results of a survey by the Norwegian newspaper, Klassekampen, which has been widely reported by the mainstream Norwegian media.
Perhaps more notable than Sanders leading the field was the performance of incumbent president Donald Trump. The 45th President of the USA was only the fourth favourite among Norwegian MPs.
Sanders tops the survey
The newspaper asked all 154 representatives in the Storting which candidate they preferred. Of the 68 who replied, 29 picked the Vermont senator. Of those who picked Sanders, 16 were from Norway's Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party) with 10 from Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left).
Read more: Fascinating Facts About Norway
Bjørnar Moxnes, leader of the far-left Rødt (Red) party also supported Sanders, as did Venstre's (Liberal) Carl-Erik Grimstad and Senterpartiet's Liv Signe Navarsete.
Norwegian speaker Buttigieg leads the chasing pack
Pete Buttigieg, one of Sanders' rivals for the Democratic nomination, was also popular. Among the survey responses, 20 picked him. Among those 20, half were from Høyre (Conservatives), the lead party in Norway's coalition government and the party of Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Of course, Buttigieg has a higher-profile than you may expect in Norway. He has made the news for his surprising competence in the Norwegian language.
When questioned on his unusual choice of foreign language to learn, he said it was so he could read the novels of Norwegian author Erlend Loe in their original language. Aside from Norwegian, he speaks French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic and Dari,
11 respondents chose Joe Biden, 8 went for Trump, with seven choosing Elizabeth Warren. Michael Bloomberg (4), Amy Klobuchar (3) and Tom Steyer (2) also received preferences.
Only right-wing MP's favour Donald Trump
The current President Donald Trump received only 8 preferences. All 8 came from members of Norway's populist Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party), who recently walked out of the coalition government. Of course, there was many MPs that did not choose a favourite, so it's possible many of these are Trump fans afraid of making such a public statement.
It's fair to say most Norwegians have looked on at Trump's presidency with curiosity. That curiosity was heightened in 2018 when the President reportedly said he would welcome immigrants from countries like Norway over “sh**hole countries.”
Although he initially denied making the comments, several members of Congress that attended the meeting between Trump and Norway's Prime Minister said the reports were true. The comments sparked a firestorm in America, and around the world.
Even Fox News were surprised at the comments. “Norwegians generally live longer than Americans. There's a generous safety net of health care and pensions. And although it's pricey, the country last year was named the happiest on Earth,” said the news outlet.
“President Donald Trump says the United States should take in more Norwegians, but is it any wonder that more Americans are going the other way?”, it continued.
Aside from those comments, the nation's statistics service warned last year that if Trump's trade war were to escalate, it would have a significant impact on the Norwegian economy.
Why are Norway's politicians backing Bernie?
Given the state of play of Noway's politics, it's no surprise that the majority of MPs back Democratic candidates. Even politicians considered centre or centre-right in Norway would be considered centre-left in the U.S.
Bernie Sanders is a U.S. Senator from Vermont. He was elected to the Senate after 16 years as Vermont’s sole congressman in the House of Representatives. In 2018, he won re-election for a third term with more than two-thirds of the vote.
According to the Sanders campaign website, his reign as mayor of Burlington helped transform the city into one of the most exciting and livable small cities in America. “Under his administration, the city made major strides in affordable housing, progressive taxation, environmental protection, child care, women’s rights, youth programs and the arts,” states the site.
In Norway, Sanders is seen as the sole progressive candidate that will work to improve conditions for working families and focus on closing the growing gap between the rich and everyone else.