Americas & Beyond
|Obama More Popular Abroad Than At Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit|
Pew Research Center
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July 19, 2010
As the global economy begins to rebound from the great recession, people around the world remain deeply concerned with the way things are going in their countries. Less than a third of the publics in most nations say they are satisfied with national conditions, as overwhelming numbers say their economies are in bad shape. And just about everywhere, governments are faulted for the way they are dealing with the economy.
Yet in most countries, especially in wealthier nations, President Barack Obama gets an enthusiastic thumbs up for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. The notable exception is the United States itself, where as many disapprove of their president’s approach to the global recession as approve.
This pattern is indicative of the broader picture of global opinion in 2010. President Barack Obama remains popular in most parts of the world, although his job approval rating in the U.S. has declined sharply since he first took office. In turn, opinions of the U.S., which improved markedly in 2009 in response to Obama’s new presidency, also have remained far more positive than they were for much of George W. Bush’s tenure.
In countries outside of the Muslim world, where the president’s ratings remain generally positive, his standing is not quite as high in 2010 as it was a year ago. The new poll found fewer in many Asian and Latin American countries saying they have confidence in Obama and approve of his policies generally, and even in Europe the large majorities responding positively to his foreign policy are not quite as large as they were in 2009.
Besides declines in overall confidence in some countries, strong endorsement of Obama eroded in countries where he remains broadly popular. Notably, in Britain, France, Germany, and Japan, fewer this year say they have a lot of confidence in Obama’s judgment regarding world affairs, while more say some confidence; still there was no increase in the percentage expressing no confidence in Obama in these countries.
Even though Obama has called the Arizona immigration law “misdirected,” it is nonetheless having a negative impact on views of him in Mexico. Prior to the law’s passage, 47% of Mexicans had confidence in Obama’s international leadership, but after passage only 36% held this view. More specifically, 54% of Mexicans say they disapprove of the way Barack Obama is dealing with the new law, and as many as 75% say that about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
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