Trump’s Favorable Ratings Abroad Are Even Worse Than at Home

In just five months, the president has seriously damaged the US reputation overseas.

Yin Bogu/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump may have successfully campaigned on the promise to restore the country’s greatness, but when it comes to America’s international standing, the president’s young tenure has accomplished precisely the opposite. 

According to a new Pew Research poll that surveyed 37 nations across the world, favorable ratings for the United States have dropped from 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama’s time in office to 49 percent, with sharp declines among America’s closest allies in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Only two countries polled had higher confidence in Trump than in his predecessor: Russia and Israel.

As for Trump himself, a median of just 22 percent of respondents in the surveyed countries reported having confidence in the president’s ability to make the right decisions in international affairs. A majority of people described him as “arrogant” and “dangerous,” while 55 percent viewed him as a “strong leader.” 

The devastating poll comes just five months into Trump’s presidency, during which he has managed to upend long-standing relations with America’s closest allies while cozying up to autocratic leaders such as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump’s first trip abroad as president in May was marked by a contentious NATO speech, in which he scolded leaders for not contributing their fair share in defense funding. He was also recorded on video shoving the prime minister of Montenegro aside to seemingly better position himself in front of photographers. 

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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