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Americans see U.S. world standing as worst in decade

Staff Writer |
Americans believe the world at large sees the U.S. more unfavorably (57%) than favorably (42%), their worst assessment of the country's image in 10 years.

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A year ago, Americans' perceptions were more positive than negative.

These results are from a Gallup survey conducted February 1-5, about two weeks into Donald Trump's presidency.

The 42% favorable rating is one of the lowest since Gallup began asking this question in 2000 and may be attributable to the election of Trump, whose sometimes controversial statements and actions have rankled several world leaders.

However, Americans' perceptions of the image of the U.S. abroad were marginally worse in 2007, when 40% thought the world viewed the nation favorably.

At the time, the U.S. was embroiled in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and President George W. Bush was highly unpopular.

The high-water mark for Americans believing the U.S. is viewed favorably was 79% in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Much of this year's drop in favorable perceptions of how the world views the U.S. is fueled by a precipitous slide among Democrats now that a Republican president is in office.

Currently, 31% of Democrats think the world views the U.S. at least somewhat favorably, down from 68% last year.

By contrast, Republicans' views have improved this year, to 54% from 39%, but not enough to offset the decline among Democrats.

Fewer than three in 10 Americans (29%) say leaders of other countries have respect for the new president, with 67% saying world leaders do not have much respect for him.

When Barack Obama took office in 2009, the results were nearly opposite: 67% of Americans then believed global leaders respected the president, while 20% said leaders did not.

At the time of the prior presidential transition in 2001, more Americans also believed George W. Bush was respected than believed he was not.


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