U.S. Image Plummets Under Trump White House, Pew Survey Says

  • Russians and Israelis stand out for liking Trump more
  • Trump’s approval ratings below that of Putin, Xi or Merkel

Donald Trump has been U.S. president for less than six months but it’s been enough time to send opinions of American leadership plunging.

According to a Pew Research Center public survey of 37 countries, a median of just 22 percent of respondents have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in international matters, compared with 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. As a country, the U.S.’s favorable rating fell in the same period to 49 percent from 64 percent.

Israel and Russia were the only countries surveyed where the public prefers Trump to Obama.

According to Pew, the steepest slides in the view of Trump came in European allies such as Sweden, Netherlands and Germany, and in South Korea. The decline was less pronounced in some majority-Muslim countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and Jordan, partly because approval for Obama was already low. For instance, only 14 percent of Jordanians had trust in Obama at the end of his tenure, compared with 9 percent for Trump. By comparison, 93 percent of Swedes had confidence in Obama and only 10 percent feel the same way about Trump.

Trump was the lowest rated of the world’s major leaders. The survey said a median of 42 percent had confidence in Germany’s Angela Merkel, 28 percent in China’s Xi Jinping, and 27 percent in Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Pew said the overall view of the U.S., which Pew has followed since 2002, tends to track approval for the president, even if U.S. culture and Americans as people tend to win higher ratings than their leaders. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of the American people.

“The drop in favorability ratings for the United States is widespread,” Pew said. “The share of the public with a positive view of the U.S. has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Favorability ratings have only increased in Russia and Vietnam.”

The survey was conducted among 40,447 respondents in 37 countries from Feb. 16 to May 8. Asked about Trump’s character, 75 percent said he’s “arrogant,” 65 percent said “ignorant,” and 62 percent said “dangerous.”

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