“Didn’t expect that reaction.” UN General Assembly members laughed while President Donald Trump delivered his address.
For the third year in a row, Germany remains the top-rated global power, while the image of U.S., Chinese and Russian leadership stays consistently weak, according to a new Gallup poll.
The poll results released Monday measure global views of major powers and show worldwide approval of U.S. leadership continues to be “historically low.” Globally, 33% approved of U.S. leadership, a slight increase from a previous low of 30% during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Global perceptions of the world’s leading nations often reflect the relative soft power of each global actor. But as much as any leader would love to be admired, leaders often need to make decisions bound by principles of their nation’s interest,” Gallup said.
The world’s view of the U.S. dropped 19 points in 2017, between President Barack Obama’s last year in office and Trump’s first year, the report said, and “the situation hasn’t changed much since.”
The 24% median approval rating is unchanged from 2018, the report said, citing that the president’s “America first” rhetoric, particularly Trump’s address to the U.N General Assembly, hasn’t harmed or helped his ratings.
More: Pence says Trump has shown great ‘leadership’ during the pandemic. A new poll shows Americans disagree.China and Russia continued to fall not far behind the U.S.: China’s 32% approval rating fell two points below its 2018 results, whereas Russia’s 30% rating remained unchanged.
Germany sat on top with 44% leadership approval ratings, bouncing back from the previous year’s slump below 40%, the lowest the country’s ratings had been in a decade. Despite the slight setback, Germany has remained the highest rated global power for three consecutive years, according to Gallup.
Julie Ray, Gallup managing editor for world news, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “stable leadership” has “earned global respect.”
Gallup surveyed about 1,000 people in 135 countries and territories from March 2019 to February 2020, with a margin of error ranging from plus or minus 1.5 to 5.4 percentage points.
The coronavirus pandemic will likely affect how the world views leadership based on how they responded to the crisis, Gallup said.
“We don’t know how ratings will look in 2020, but people will certainly have a lot to think about – including a global pandemic,” Ray said. “It’s pretty likely that people will have how each country responded to the pandemic in mind when they answer the questions again.”
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China, where COVID-19 originated, and the U.S. – which withdrew from the World Health Organization during the pandemic and leads the world in most coronavirus cases and deaths – face particular room for criticism among 2020 polls, the Gallup report forecasted.
“The image of U.S. leadership in particular could seriously suffer as the globe watches U.S. states and the federal government struggle to get infection rates under control,” Gallup said.
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