Armed with a heavy-handed dose of transatlantic bonhomie, Emmanuel Macron travelled to Washington last week for a state visit, ready to press President Trump to change tack on the Iran Deal. Trump seems poised let a sanctions waiver lapse on May 12, which would signal the collapse of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. However, Macron's visit appeared to embolden supporters of the JCPOA online, while activity related to its detractors remained flat.
Predata's Pro-JCPOA index, measuring online activity related to prominent supporters of the Iran Deal, spiked sharply on April 25, the same day Macron and Trump were reported to have discussed the deal. Supporters sought to build on the momentum from Macron's visit and drew parallels to the steps towards reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. There was no notable spike in the Anti-JCPOA index.
If nothing else, the state visit was a boon to Macron's image worldwide. The 'Brand Macron' index, which measures the level of global interest in Macron and his En Marche political party, rose to its highest level since he was elected president last spring.
It remains to be seen if Macron's glad-handing will pay off on the Iran Deal. Regardless, the online reaction to his state visit demonstrates that–despite persistently low popularity at home–Emmanuel Macron still commands a certain mystique worldwide.