Global Confidence in the Trump Presidency

An interesting poll done by the Pew Research Center takes an international look at confidence in the Trump presidency, comparing it to the level of confidence in the U.S. presidency at the end of the Obama Administration.  Here is a summary of their findings.

The Pew poll, the Spring 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, generally questioned between 1000 and 1500 people in 37 nations around the world with a total of 40,447 respondents between February 16, 2017 and May 8, 2017..  The poll looked at several key issues; the favourability of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Zi Jinping, the favourability of the United States and the favourability of the Trump Administration’s policies.  

Let’s start by looking at the global confidence in Donald Trump and his ability to do the “right thing” when it comes to global affairs and how this confidence/lack of confidence has changed from the end of the Obama Administration:

As you can see, globally speaking, there is a significant growth in the number of international respondents who do not trust the new U.S. president when it comes to global affairs.  

Here is a graphic showing a comparison of how each nation in the survey views the Trump Administration vs. the Obama Administration when it comes to confidence in handling global affairs:

Respondents from only two nations out of 37 had more confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to conduct international affairs than they did at the end Barack Obama’s terms; Russia and Israel, an interesting turn of events given the anti-Russia sentiment that is currently pervasive in Washington.  It is interesting to observe that some of America’s longest-term allies like Germany, South Korea, France, Canada and the United Kingdom have the highest declines in confidence from one administration to the next.  This is particularly important for Canada, America’s next-door neighbour and its major trading partner.

Let’s now look at how the international approval rating for Donald Trump compares to that of China’s Xi Jinping, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Russia’s Vladimir Putin when it comes to global affairs:

As you can see, globally speaking, Donald Trump gets the most negative responses when it comes to confidence in his global affairs agenda.  While his low level of confidence is only slightly lower than that of Vladimir Putin (5 percentage points) and Xi Jinping (6 percentage points), the number of respondents that have no confidence in his global affairs agenda are far higher than either Mr. Putin (15 percentage points lower) and Mr. Jinping (19 percentage points lower).

Let’s close by looking at a global view of Donald Trump’s personal character.  Here is a listing of both positive and negative characteristics and what percentage of respondents feel that each characteristic is most closely associated with Mr. Trump:

It is very interesting to see that a majority (55 percent) of respondents felt that Donald Trump was a strong leader.  Unfortunately, these are outweighed by the number of respondents who feel that his is dangerous, intolerant and arrogant.

Obviously, the international community’s views on the current Trump Administration will have a significant impact on how outsiders view the United States. Only time will tell whether Donald Trump will be able to turn around international sentiment about his presidency; my suspicion is that he really could care less what the international community and its leaders feel about his agenda or his personality for that matter.  That said, it is still interesting to see how the international community views the first few months of his term in the Oval Office, particularly when we compare it to the final days of the Obama Administration. 

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