Barack Obama’s poll numbers have been on the skids for a long time, but until recently most Americans believed the US president was generally respected by foreign leaders. Not any more.
According to a CBS DC report, a recent Gallup poll revealed that 53 percent of Americans believe that world leaders of other powerful nations do not respect US President Barack Obama. Only 41 percent felt that the president was respected. This number is down considerably from numbers in last year’s poll – which showed 51percent of Americans believed that US President Barack Obama was respected on the world stage – and down even further from the peak of Barack Obama’s popularity in 2009, when 67 percent of Americans believed other world leaders respected President Obama.
According to Fox Newscoverage, Pollsters asked participants the simple question:
“Do you think leaders of other countries around the world have respect for Barack Obama, or do you think they don’t have much respect for him?”
Representatives of Gallup acknowledged that the results of the poll were likely skewed somewhat by participants’ personal views on the president’s job performance, but suggested that there was more to Americans’ perception of the lack of respect for President Obama abroad than simple domestic dissatisfaction with the president’s performance. CBS News reports this explanation from Gallup:
“Although opinions about a president’s perceived world standing often track with his job approval rating, a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now.”
Gallup further suggested that the poll results may be tied to Americans’ perceptions about strained relations between Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Beanjamin Netanyahu and other world leaders with Barack Obama. US involvement in Syria was also listed as a possible reason Americans felt the US president was not respected by other world leaders. Gallup explained:
“Thus, the recent decline may be more tied to specific international matters from the past year, such as the revelation the U.S. was listening in on foreign leaders’ phone calls, the situation in Syria, increased tensions with Russia, and an uneasy relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
The poll showed the largest drivers of the change in Americans’ perceptions of President Obama’s standings with world leaders came from Democrats and Independents. According to CBS News coverage, Republicans already widely believed the president lacked respect abroad, but others – especially independents – are changing their minds on the issue in droves.
What do you think? Do foreign leaders respect President Barack Obama? US standing in the world stage is undoubtedly affected by how the president is perceived by foreign leaders, but do you think this will have long-term implications on US foreign relations?