News

    Obama Remains Popular in Europe

    A newly-released survey shows that U.S. President Barack Obama is vastly more popular in Europe than his predecessor, George W. Bush, but that transatlantic differences remain on critical foreign policy issues and global challenges. 

    The annual public opinion poll, conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or GMF, shows that 77 percent of respondents in the European Union plus Turkey approve of President Obama's handling of international affairs.  By comparison, just 19 percent backed former President Bush's foreign policies in 2008.

    GMF Transatlantic Fellow Bruce Stokes presented the findings at a Washington forum.  He said the so-called "Obama bounce" is the biggest ever recorded for a U.S. president in modern history.

    "The numbers jump in an almost not-credible fashion," said Stokes.  "If this did not reflect the findings that other surveys have found as well, [then] one might want to question these numbers.  But the reality is we feel very confident in these numbers because others surveys have found similar results."

    The upswing in sentiment toward America's president is most pronounced in Western Europe.  German approval, for example, jumped 80 percent since Mr. Obama came to office.  Eastern European nations also recorded higher favorability ratings for the U.S. president, but the increase was more modest.  Half of Turkish respondents back Mr. Obama, compared to 8 percent that supported President Bush.

    According to Bruce Stokes, the difference in public sentiment across Europe is significant.

    "Western Europeans are just much more confident in President Obama than Central and Eastern Europeans," he said. "Central and Eastern Europeans, over half the population has confidence in the president. That is not bad.  It is just compared to Western Europe that you see a real distinction."

    Is Mr. Obama's popularity in Europe bridging transatlantic gulfs over thorny international and global questions?  Not to any significant degree, according to the poll.  At a time of expanding U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan, a majority of Europeans are pessimistic about the prospects for achieving stability in the country and favor reducing or withdrawing NATO troops deployed there.

    When it comes to Iran, a smaller percentage of Europeans than Americans favor maintaining a military option to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear arsenal.

    On combating global warming, the poll shows Europeans, on average, are far more concerned about climate change than Americans.

    "If these differences cannot be bridged, it is quite likely that the Obama honeymoon [in Europe] could be shortlived," said Bruce Stokes.

    But the poll showed continued majority support in Europe for NATO, as well as a free market and liberalized trade.  The survey did not reveal strong resentment against the United States for its role in precipitating last year's global financial crisis.

    The presidential popularity findings mirror a global poll conducted earlier this year by the Pew Research Center.  The Pew survey concluded that -- with the exception of Israel -- much of the world has come to view the United States more favorably under President Obama's leadership.

    At home, Mr. Obama's favorability ratings have declined in recent months.  The latest Gallup poll shows 52 percent of Americans approve of the president's performance, down about 20 points from the early weeks of his administration.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora