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U.S. Global Leadership Standing Drops During Trump Administration

U.S. approval chart

Global approval of U.S. leadership, 2007 – 2017 (Gallup Inc.)

(20 January 2018) Polling conducted worldwide by Gallup Inc. shows approval of U.S. leadership under President Donald Trump fell to its lowest point since 2007. The data reported this week by Gallup, show a median of 30 percent of respondents in 134 countries approve of U.S. leadership, a sharp decline from 48 percent in 2016, the last year of the Barack Obama administration. The surveys were conducted by telephone or face-to-face between March and November 2017.

The drop in approval of U.S. leadership is large and widespread. Of the 134 countries surveyed, 65 recorded declines of 10 percentage points or more. In Portugal, Belgium, Norway, and Canada, the percentage approving of U.S. world leadership fell by 40 or more points in 2017. In each of those countries in 2016, majorities of those sampled approved of U.S. leadership. Approval of U.S. leadership increased by 10 points or more in Liberia, Macedonia, Israel, and Belarus. Gallup notes that the interviewing in Israel took place before the Trump administration’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital.

Germany is now the highest-rated power with a median of 41 percent approval in the 134 countries surveyed. The. U.S. at 30 percent is about the same as China with 31 percent median approval, and slightly ahead of Russia at 27 percent. Over the past 5 years, approval rates for Germany and China remained stable, while approval of Russia’s leadership gained slightly. From 2013 to 2106, approval of U.S. leadership fluctuated slightly between 45 and 48 percent. The only previous times it dipped below 40 percent were in 2007 and 2008, the last two years of the George W. Bush administration, reported at 38 and 34 percent, respectively.

Surveys in each of the 134 countries sampled 1,000 or more individuals age 15 or higher. Confidence intervals, also known as margins of error, range from 2.0 to 5.1 percent of the published results from the country-wide samples, in 95 of 100 repeated cases. Responses to individual questions in the surveys, and more details of the methods used and data from the various countries, are available on the Gallup Inc. web site.

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