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US image plummets under Trump White House, Pew survey says

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 18:19

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

[PARIS] Donald Trump has been US 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 per cent of respondents have confidence in Mr Trump to do the right thing in international matters, compared with 64 per cent at the end of Barack Obama's presidency. As a country, the US's favourable rating fell in the same period to 49 per cent from 64 per cent.

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

According to Pew, the steepest slides in the view of Mr 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 Mr Obama was already low. For instance, only 14 per cent of Jordanians had trust in Mr Obama at the end of his tenure, compared with 9 per cent for Mr Trump. By comparison, 93 per cent of Swedes had confidence in Mr Obama and only 10 per cent feel the same way about Mr Trump.

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

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

"The drop in favourability ratings for the United States is widespread," Pew said. "The share of the public with a positive view of the US has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Favourability 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 Mr Trump's character, 75 per cent said he's "arrogant," 65 per cent said "ignorant," and 62 per cent said "dangerous."

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