The view of American leaders has varied considerably over time. In general, the opinion is that sentiment dropped substantially during the Trump administration, and the Biden administration has tried to claw that back to how American leaders were viewed before his predecessor’s years in the White House. A recent Pew Research study, “America’s Image Abroad Rebounds With Transition From Trump to Biden,” shows that in studies across 12 nations, the “favorability” of the U.S. president rebounded sharply from the end Trump era.
Gallup’s new study, “Rating World Leaders: The U.S. vs. Germany, China and Russia,” largely confirms the Pew survey. The sample for the survey included adults ages 15 and older in 108 countries. Most were conducted by wireless and landline phones. In the Republic of the Congo, India, Mali, Pakistan and Senegal, some were done in person.
One segment of the Gallup research was titled “U.S. Image at Record Low as Trump Exits, Rebounding Under Biden.” The authors point out that the Trump period approval rating across 108 countries dropped sharply to well under 40% and stayed there over the four years. In early August, based on data from 46 countries, the median rose to 49%. Biden had been in office for seven months. This led the researchers to write:
[T]he substantial gains across so many countries halfway through 2021 make it unlikely that the final rating for Biden’s first year in office could retreat to Trump administration levels.
In two nations, the U.S. leadership approval ratings rose above 70%. These were Mali at 76% and the Philipines at 71%. These were followed closely by Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo (69% each). Notably, there is some overlap between these and the nations where interviews were done in person.
At the far end of the spectrum, the country that had the lowest opinion of U.S. leadership was Russia at 13%, followed by Serbia (16%), Croatia (24%) and Latvia (29%). These countries are geographically close to one another and to Russia’s eastern border.
These are the 10 countries that admire the U.S. leadership the most:
- Mali (76%)
- Philippines (71%)
- Cameroon (69%)
- Republic of the Congo (69%)
- Kenya (67%)
- Colombia (65%)
- Portugal (64%)
- Sierra Leone (64%)
- Netherlands (63%)
- Zimbabwe (63%)