On the streets of Paris, a quick survey of seven passers-by turned up four firmly in favor of the vote - surprising given France's distaste for Bush, the Iraq invasion and wider U.S. policies.
In the United States, some newspapers preferred to see the vote through the prism of history, not pessimism.
"Getting Ready for Democracy" said the front-page of The Times of Munster in Indiana.
"Working against thousands of years of cultural differences and resentment, the U.S. sponsored Iraqi elections will be BREAKING HISTORY," declared the Savannah Morning News in Georgia.
Contrast that with "The Iraq disaster" headline above a commentary in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung that argued that Bush's promises to spread democracy have backfired terribly.
Iraq "threatens to sink into murderous anarchy," it said last week. "The election cannot bring the Iraqis democracy because all the conditions are missing, because freedom can't prosper on the battlefields."