Society

Poll: World Views U.S. Less Favorably Under Trump

| by Robert Fowler
President Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump

Polling released on June 26 indicates that overall American esteem on the global stage has dropped by double digits since President Donald Trump assumed office. The data also indicates that the majority of countries trust the commander-in-chief significantly less than his predecessor. On the other hand, the numbers suggest that the American people remain popular in the eyes of the world.

The information comes from Pew Research Center's annual Global Attitudes & Trends survey results, culled from the citizens of 37 countries. While 64 percent of overall respondents viewed the U.S. favorably in 2016, that number tumbled down to 49 percent after the first five months of the Trump administration.

While a median 64 percent of overall respondents had confidence in former President Barack Obama's leadership during his final year in office, 74 percent now say they have no confidence in Trump. The drop in favorability towards the U.S. president was most felt among key American allies such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, France, Canada, the U.K., Australia and Japan; in those countries, respondents' level of confidence in Trump's foreign policy approach were all at least 50 percentage points below their previously reported confidence in Obama.

The only two countries where Trump performed better than Obama were Israel and Russia. While Israeli respondents favored Trump by 7 percentage points, Russians viewed Trump more positively than his predecessor by a whopping 42 percentage points.

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On March 10, ABC News reporters traveled to Russia to seek anecdotal views of how its people viewed Trump, finding that Moscow residents viewed him favorably.

"Trump is ours!" 24-year-old Viktor Osievskii told reporters.

"He's a good man's man," said bar server Evgenia Shushina.

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"We're waiting to see what will be next," 45-year-old Marina Zaitsev said in an interview. "Because [Trump] can do very good for Russia and very bad. We are waiting to see actions. We're not disappointed. We are hoping that Russia and America will be friends."

The survey found that the majority of countries disapproved of Trump's key policies. A median 32 percent approved of Trump's executive order on travel for six Muslim-majority countries, while 62 percent disapproved. A median 19 percent approved of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord while 71 disapproved. The issue that drew the most negativity was Trump's pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; only a median 16 percent of respondents approved of it, while 76 percent disapproved.

The 37 countries also had an unflattering impression of Trump's personality. A median 75 percent described the president as arrogant, 65 percent said he was intolerant, and 62 percent deemed him dangerous. Meanwhile, a median 55 percent viewed Trump as a strong leader, 39 percent found him charismatic, 26 percent believed he was qualified to occupy the White House, and only 23 percent trusted that he cared about ordinary people.

While Trump is deeply unpopular across the world, Americans remain largely well-liked. A median 58 percent of overall respondents had a favorable view of Americans, 54 percent believed that the U.S. government respected civil liberties, and 65 percent liked American popular culture.

Overall, the polling indicates that worldwide favorability towards the U.S. has dropped under Trump. The president also remains polarizing among his own citizens. Aggregating nine national polls released between June 11 and June 26, RealClearPolitics found that Trump had an average approval rating of 40 percent and an average disapproval rating of 54 percent.

Sources: ABC News, Pew Research CenterRealClearPolitics / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons, The White House/Flickr

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