News / USA

Global Survey Shows Obama More Popular Abroad Than at Home

A new international survey of 24,000 people in 22 countries shows U.S. President Barack Obama remains widely popular in most parts of the world, but both President Obama and the United States face some image challenges in predominantly Muslim nations.

Andrew Kohut is the President of the Washington-based Pew Research Center and the Director of its Global Attitudes Project.  He presented the survey's findings in Washington Thursday.

"Our headline today is that President Obama remains highly popular in most parts of the world -- even though his job approval rating has slipped considerably in the United States -- and his continued popularity around the world benefits the image of the U.S.," said Kohut.  "Opinions of the U.S. remain far more positive in 2010 than they were for much of the Bush years."  

Still, support for Mr. Obama among Muslims abroad was higher in a poll conducted last year, around the time the president reached out to the Muslim world in his famous Cairo Speech.  Muslims polled have grown disillusioned with Mr. Obama during the past year.  

Things have changed dramatically in Egypt, where the percentage of Muslims expressing confidence in Mr. Obama dropped from 41 percent to 31 percent.  In Pakistan, the level dropped from 13 percent to 8 percent.  Confidence in Mr. Obama remains high in Nigeria -- a whopping 77 percent of Muslims polled there approve of him, but that is still down from 81 percent last year.

In fact, confidence and approval levels slipped among Muslims surveyed everywhere but Indonesia, where Mr. Obama spent time as a child.

Significant percentages of Muslims surveyed see the U.S. as a military threat.  Overall, the U.S. is viewed as acting unilaterally.  And Mr. Obama has sub-par ratings on his handling of Iran, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

But Kohut says there is an even thornier issue.

"It's worth noting that his worst ratings are for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," said Kohut.

Mr. Obama and his policies are viewed more favorably outside the Muslim world, particularly among Western Europeans.  

"Overall opinion of Barack Obama remains broadly positive in non-Muslim countries," explained Kohut.  "The national median having confidence in Obama to do the right thing was 71 percent outside of the Muslim world, and
overall approval of his policies was 64 percent in the non-Muslim world."    

People abroad praised the president's handling of the global economic crisis, even as they express widespread dissatisfaction with the economy.

But what is the effect of having a well-liked president?

"Obviously President Obama's popularity is very important and a positive," explained former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is the co-chair of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.  "And generally Americans favorability ratings make a big difference, not just because we want to be liked, but because it makes a difference in the way that we're able to fulfill what the policies are and what is good for the American people operating in a globalized world."

Experts noted an interesting find  -- despite continued criticism of U.S. policies and approaches to world affairs, people around the world maintain positive views of the president and the United States.  They said this was not the case in polls conducted during the Bush administration.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid