The Iowa caucuses and U.S. presidential race are being watched around the world with a mixture of amusement, hope and fear. Here's a look at how U.S. politics are playing to an international audience.
... in Italy
“I am happy that Trump suffered a defeat — let’s hope that this will downsize his chance, because he is dangerous... He is dangerous because someone who wants to kick out foreigners, and treats women as inferior… is unsuitable to be a president.”
“I don’t know Sanders that well, but he looks like a good person. Clinton is more experienced.”
— Virginia Vicario, Rome
“I think that both Republicans and Democrats voted wisely. I like and support Clinton, but I think she is a bit outdated, partly because she is the wife of a former president, and also as a woman. But I don’t think the other one…what’s his name, Sanders? Stands any chance. He looks very wise though. Fortunately Republicans can be wise sometimes. Thank god.”
— Velia Dipietra, Rome
... in the U.K.
“I think it's fascination here. Not with the great economy that is the United States of America, the huge influence that it has in diplomacy and what have you. It is ‘The Donald’ versus Hillary."
— Alastair Stewart, English journalist and newscaster with ITV News
"How dangerous it would be, how appalling it would be if someone like [Trump] became president of the United States ... The most powerful country in the world in the hands of someone like that."
— David Lloyd, London
"I think unfortunately [Trump could win] but think it’s going to be very damaging to America’s image abroad, I think most British people would be viewing him as a bit of an extremist. "
— Robert Cull, Suffolk
... in Pakistan
“I think from the Democratic side we have two good candidates now. So that’s helpful. They’re both progressive, they both say things that are not bigoted so as a Pakistani I think it would help if someone from the Democratic side came in.
“On the other side, Cruz is a lot better than Trump, in terms of being a misogynistic bigoted person, but at the same time he’s not much better… I’m slightly biased towards Clinton and the reason being I think she has more experience in foreign policy.”
— Ali Shahid, 35, Islamabad business owner
“I am a left winger myself even though I’m living in Pakistan so I would go for Bernie Sanders. Obviously it’s a 50/50 tie, but lets face it, the point is the world into the verge of being enlightened. So we need someone who is pro education, pro democracy, so I think Bernie Sanders would be the next big thing hopefully!”
— Alamdar Khan, 30, musician in northern Pakistan’s Khyber Pukhtunkhwa
“Where Ted Cruz and Trump are concerned I feel like it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils… I would obviously not vote for either, whereas Bernie Sanders and Hillary are concerned, I’m going to be biased because I love Bernie Sanders and I love his policies on things, his general attitude, and he just makes so much sense.”
— Naima Nasir, 27, student in Islamabad
... in Germany
"I don’t follow [the election] that much, but I know some things. I know that Trump, for example, is trying to get president but I hope he won’t get president.
"Maybe some Germans know also, like, Hillary Clinton and some candidates, but not a lot. Like for example I could name, like, three or four.”
— Julius Graeten, 22
“Most of what we observe is Donald Trump obviously, all the other candidates did not come across as much.”
— Thilo Hartmann, 21
... in Russia
"Why [I’m] for Donald? Because he is more sincere, shall we say, and more predictable in relations than everyone else."
— Evgeny, retiree
“It’s clear that Trump would be the easiest to deal with, if it comes to this, because he’s a showman he’s only interested in a show. But they’re unlikely to elect him.
"It’s going to be tough [for Russia] with Clinton, because she’s a woman, and they have their own brand of logic.”
— Alexei Golykh, 37, engineer
... in China
"The presidential election cycle is very amusing. It's very noisy, sometimes it's considered very comical, but it’s a serious process. We know its very different from our Chinese system, but we respect that system."
"Further, from the Chinese perspective the whole presidential election process seems never-ending."
— Victor Gao, chairman of China Energy Security Institute
"Rubio will broaden the trade regulation. I think it's good for the Chinese industry to import their products to America."
— Dior Lu, 21, university student
... in Egypt
“I hear the big racket Donald Trump is making in the U.S. elections and I think that there is a big chance that Hillary Clinton will win... If we want to ruin the entire Middle East, and reach the stage of its total destruction, then it will be Donald Trump of course.”
—Abdel Rahman Al Hawary, 26, engineer
“[Hillary Clinton] has the experience about the foreign affairs. She is the wife of Bill Clinton."
— Mohamed Suleiman, 40, engineer
"As and Arab and Muslim, I am really feeling sad that Donald Trump lost. I wanted him to win... for one simple reason: We want the American animosity toward Arabs and Muslims to be crystal clear, without any illusion."
— Mahmoud Abdu, 35, writer
... in Iraq
"[Trump] is not going to help in solving Arabs and Muslims issues properly… I prefer someone from the Democratic Party will be elected."
"However, I want the one who is going to be elected to learn from the mistakes that had been done by previous presidents, especially like occupying Iraq and the policies they worked on after the terrorist explosions that took place in Washington and New York in 2001."
— Mohammed Ismail, 50, photographer
"Hillary Clinton has a good experience with the Middle East; she worked on Iraqi issues for years when she was an official in the U.S. government. Our people tend to stand with Hilary because she has some positive attitudes towards the Middle East and Iraq."
— Karar Haider, 26
"I do like the personality of Hilary Clinton. She has a great personality… Such a character is not going only to defend women’s rights, but also she is dependable and will be fair and just."
"She has to be very strict like President George Bush, whom all Iraqi people thank."
— Amany Fa’iz, 36, engineer
... in Israel
“I think it is very interesting, it’s like a comedy…. I like Ted [Cruz] very much.”
— Ronen Liron, Tel Aviv
“I woke up and I was so glad to know that Trump lost in the election because I hate him, I think he is awful for the U.S... I’m really really on the left side, Hillary is a woman and I like her because she is a true woman and I hope she will be president of the U.S. “
— Avital Meir, Tel Aviv
“It is quite surprising that Trump lost, I think with all the media tension around him everyone was under the impression that he is going to take it and the close race between Clinton and Sanders shows how the nomination not in the bag for Clinton so on both sides it is surprising.”
— Nadav Katzal, Tel Aviv
... in the West Bank
"I would like Mr. Sanders to become the President, but I don't think he will. I think America is not ready for democracy yet, I think they will have to look and to analyze the situation in the Middle East and what has happened after the Iraqi and Afghanistan war, and to see that there is a paradigm shift towards the different countries like Russia, like Iran."
"I don't have any hope from the American president, the new elected president of the United States, and I thought we would have some hope with Mr. Obama, but Obama did nothing for the Middle East."
— Naser Abd Il Hadi, 53, owner of Zeit w Zaatar network
"It doesn’t matter who’s going to win, Cruz or Clinton, because we know they all going to support — they both going to support Israel, and they support it blindly, and we know we are not going to get anything out of it. Israel is killing us, Israel is occupying us, and nothing is going to happen."
— Jad Qatao, 47, shop owner
... in Afghanistan
“I know the names of most of the candidates.... Marco Rubio who is a passionate young man who has worked his way up from poverty and reached to this point quickly; he is an excellent debater and has a lot of energy. Ted Cruz is also a good guy, but he is not fit enough to be the president of a country like the United States of America.
"From Democrats, Clinton is a well-known person… She is a powerful woman. It is very important for the U.S. if a woman gets the chance to become president, because it will be a first. But she also has her problems — her email scandals, the killing of their ambassador in Libya — so not sure if she has a chance.”
— Gul Baloch, 22, student from Kabul
“We prefer the Republicans, because the Afghan economy grew stronger under Republicans.”
“I know two of the candidates well — Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush — but also know about Donald Trump who is a controversial person, especially his statement against Muslims… We will follow the developments and see where it goes. If Republicans win, it will be better for Afghanistan.”
— Subhan Qul, 36, businessman from Kabul
“I think all the candidates should have Afghanistan high on their agendas, as anything happening here will have an impact there and vice-versa. I have heard of Trump, but I think someone who only respects humanity and does not make religion an issue should be elected.”
— Ahmad Rishad Mahdyar, 25, musician
NBC News' Paul Goldman and Lawahez Jabari in Israel; Wajahat S. Khan in Pakistan; Andy Eckardt in Germany; Alexey Eremenko in Russia; Charlene Gubash in Cairo; Ram Baghdadi, Michele Neubert and Brinley Bruton in London; Fazul Rahim in Kabul; Claudio Lavanga in Rome; Ed Flanagan and Julia Zhou in China contributed to this report.