Gallup: Trump Globally the Least Respected U.S. President This Century

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse

On January 15th, Gallup reported that, “Across 60 countries and areas surveyed during the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency, median approval of U.S. leadership stands at 22%.” The preliminary version of Gallup’s “Rating World Leaders: 2021” report was being issued. This preliminary report showed the results that had been tabulated for 60 of the 135 countries where Gallup annually samples global public opinion about U.S. leadership. One especially clear finding from it is that when their final report for all 135 countries will be issued, it will show that among the three U.S. Presidents Gallup has internationally surveyed — which are only the three U.S. Presidents in this century — Trump is clearly the one who was globally respected the least, even lower than George W. Bush was respected.

Here are the findings, for the 2021 report, in each of these 60 nations, and — for comparison — the finding, in each of them, that had been published in Gallup’s last completed survey report, “Rating World Leaders: 2020”:

“Approval of U.S. Leadership Across 60 Countries and Areas”

“Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?”

%  “Approve”:

Dominican Republic, 66% was 56% in 2020

Cameroon, 62 was 61

Georgia, 61 was 43

Zambia, 56 was 26

Albania, 56 was 67

Philippines, 55 was 58

Uganda, 53 was 47

Mauritius, 50 was 59

Zimbabwe, 50 was 59

Ecuador, 43 was 34

Colombia, 42 was 41

Moldova, 40 was 45

Brazil, 40 was 38

Japan, 39 was 34

Kyrgyzstan, 34 was 32

Namibia, 34 was 31

Bulgaria, 32 was 26

Cambodia, 32 was 49

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, 31 was 31

Poland, 30 was 59

South Korea, 30 was 41

Bolivia , 30 was 31

Australia, 29 was 23

Taiwan, Province of China, 28 was 40

New Zealand, 26 was 17

Mexico, 26 was 17

Malta, 26 was 30

Ethiopia, 25 was 37

Argentina, 24 was 26

Ukraine, 24 was 32

Greece, 21 was 19

Croatia, 21 was 25

Morocco, 21 was 22

Serbia , 20 was 19

Ireland, 20 was 30

Finland, 20 was 20

Slovenia, 19 was 20

Cyprus, 19 was 27

Tunisia, 19 was 24

Italy, 19 was 22

France, 18 was 23

Russia, 18 was 11

Netherlands, 18 was 20

Canada, 17 was 22

Spain, 17 was 23

Chile, 16 was 16

Estonia, 15 was 17

United Kingdom, 15 was 25

Denmark, 14 was 24

Turkey, 13 was 12

Slovakia, 13 was 28

Norway, 12 was 15

Portugal, 12 was 14

Belgium, 12 was 17

Sweden, 11 was 12

Switzerland, 10 was 13

Austria, 9 was 11

Iran, 6 was 6

Germany, 6 was 12

Iceland, 5 was 9

Remarkably, Gallup doesn’t poll in China on this question. (Nor does Pew.)

Notably, Trump is more disapproved-of in Europe than in any other part of the world. (Also, as Pew reported on 16 December 2020, “In Europe, more trust Putin than Trump.”)

Those percentage-changes that we’ve just shown total to a decline, among all 60 countries, of 121 percentage-points (-121%), or, almost exactly, a -2% change from the 2019 findings that had been reported in Gallup’s “Rating World Leaders: 2020”.

Gallup says that “until all of Gallup’s 2020 fieldwork is complete in a few months, it is still too early to say that the U.S. will see its worst ranking in the history of Gallup’s World Poll.” However, Gallup’s “Rating World Leaders: 2020” report covered 135 lands, and the 60 lands that they have tabulated as of now, for the 2021 report, seem to be a representative sampling of all of those 135, and collectively those 60 populations have reduced their respect for America’s leadership by 2%. In the 2020 report, the global level of approval for America’s leadership was 33%. The all-time-low had been the 30% figure in 2017, Trump’s first year, a finding which was based on Trump’s promises, not on his performance. The upcoming final Gallup report “Rating World Leaders: 2021” will — if the results from those 60 lands do turn out to be representative of the global findings — produce a 31% global approval level by all of the approximately 135 lands that will be covered in it. For each of Trump’s four years, then, the global percentages will have been (for each one of his four years) 30%, 31%, 33%, and (now, in his final year) 31%. Each year, it was even lower than the prior record low, of George W. Bush, had been, at 34% in 2008.

There was higher disapproval than approval of America’s leadership during the Presidencies of George W. Bush and of Donald Trump than there was approval of either U.S. President’s leadership. Strikingly, however, there was higher approval than disapproval during (and throughout) the two terms of office of Barack Obama. That Nobel Peace Prize winner was/is internationally admired. (Crazy, but true: he was an international charmer.)

Here are summarized (with links to the evidence regarding) the actual chief international achievements of each of these three U.S. Presidents:

George W. Bush: destroying Iraq, and destroying Afghanistan.

Barack Obama: destroying Syria, and destroying Ukraine, while continuing Bush’s destructions of Iraq and of Afghanistan.

Donald Trump: destroying Iran, and destroying Venezuela, while continuing his predecessors’ destructions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine. He also made the destruction of Palestine even worse than it had previously been.

So, the question regarding incoming U.S. President Joe Biden will be whether he will continue this tradition further, or reverse it. Because, it’s really all the same tradition, throughout all three U.S. Presidencies this century. By contrast, global perceptions are that those three U.S. Presidents were drastically different from one another.

On 15 September 2020, Pew bannered “U.S. Image Plummets Internationally as Most Say Country Has Handled Coronavirus Badly” and reported that:

The publics surveyed also see Trump more negatively than other world leaders. Among the six leaders included on the survey, Angela Merkel receives the highest marks: A median of 76% across the nations polled have confidence in the German chancellor. French President Emmanuel Macron also gets largely favorable reviews. Ratings for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are roughly split. Ratings for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are overwhelmingly negative, although not as negative as those for Trump.

Right above that was this graph, which shows starkly the false European perception that Barack Obama was vastly superior to George W. Bush and Donald Trump:

Apparently, most Europeans have no problem with a U.S. President who continues America’s use of torture, and who continues America’s legal immunity of prosecution for banksters, and who imposes ethnic cleansing abroad, and who aims for achieving a U.S. first-strike ability to conquer Russia by a sudden nuclear blitz attack. Style is everything, for them; substance is nothing, to them. Why didn’t they like Hitler? Is it only because he did it to them?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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January 18, 2021
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In my lifetime there’s only one US President that I respect, at least on a human level Jimmy Carter.

January 18, 2021

US presidents aren’t respected unless they get their rocks off from mass bombing and murder campaigns.

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