US Vice-President Mike Pence has his work cut out for him during his first Australian visit this weekend, with a new poll showing 60 per cent of voters have a negative view of Donald Trump.
Mr Pence, the first senior US administration official to visit Australia since the Republicans’ shock election wins last year, will meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney to discuss regional security and the North Korean nuclear threat, as part of efforts to reassure America’s allies in Asia and smooth over relations with the federal government.
A new poll from the left-leaning think-tank the Australia Institute shows 60 per cent of Australians think Mr Trump’s election will result in a negative outcome for the world, while 48 per cent said Australia should be more independent from America on military and security matters.
The poll of 1420 voters released on Friday showed 19 per cent said the New York businessman’s win was a positive outcome, with 65 per cent of women and 55 per cent of men responding negatively.
Asked if Australian “politicians should be more like Donald Trump”, 70 per cent of respondents disagreed.
There was little support for Mr Trump to be invited to address federal Parliament, with 54 per cent answering no and 32 per cent saying the President should receive the honour.
Mr Trump’s domestic approval ratings are the worst for a new president in recent history.
Australia Institute deputy director Ebony Bennett said voters had a dim view of Mr Trump as an ally.
“As a nation with a strong alliance with the United States, Australia is well positioned to provide frank and fearless counsel to the Trump administration,” she said.
The alliance was rocked by a January phone call between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull, when the pair clashed over an asylum seeker deal signed with the Obama administration.
Mr Pence will meet Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the three-day visit.