Hillary Clinton is at 59% confidence from EU respondents
Global opinions on Obama and America are high as term draws to a close
Good thing for Donald Trump that he isn’t running for office in Europe.
Just 9% of Europeans surveyed have confidence in the presumptive Republican nominee to do the right thing in world affairs, according to a new Pew Research Center poll Wednesday.
Eighty-five percent of respondents in 10 EU countries said they have no confidence in Trump, who has described his foreign policy doctrine as “America First.”
Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, earned much more positive marks among Europeans, with 59% saying they have confidence in the former secretary of state. Twenty-seven percent expressed no confidence in Clinton, Pew found.
The Pew poll was conducted among 20,132 respondents in 10 European nations, four major Asia-Pacific countries, Canada and the U.S. from April 4 to May 29, a period that ended weeks before the Brexit vote.
The poll also found that 22% of those in China – which Trump has repeatedly targeted on the campaign trail – expressed confidence in him, while 40% have no confidence in the billionaire developer. Thirty-nine percent said they have no opinion.
On Clinton, public opinion in China was roughly evenly split, with 37% expressing confidence in her and 35% stating they had no confidence in the presumptive Democratic nominee, according to the poll.
Views of Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009-2013, have improved in countries where data is available since her first run for president in 2008, according to the poll. Since then, she has seen double-digit increases in popularity in Japan (up 23 percentage points), the UK (+17), Spain (+17), Germany (+13), China (+13) and France (+12).
As she works to connect with millennials in the U.S., Clinton faces an age gap in her support abroad – with older respondents in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and Canada expressing higher opinions of her than their younger counterparts, the poll showed.
Pew found that positive views of Trump were linked to confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin, about whom Trump has spoken favorably. In countries polled with a sample size large enough for analysis, residents who said they were confident in Putin were also more likely to feel the same about Trump, according to the poll.
Positive impressions of Obama, America
Global perceptions of President Barack Obama and America remain largely positive, the poll found.
A median of 77% of respondents in the 10 European countries said they trust Obama to make the right foreign policy decisions and 63% reported that they view the U.S. favorably. In contrast to the largely negative international opinion of the U.S.-led Iraq War, half or more of those surveyed in the various countries said they back American-led military action to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Countries in the Middle East were not included in the poll.
Obama’s popularity took a slight hit in the UK during debate surrounding Brexit. Before Obama spoke in favor of “Remain” in April, 83% of UK respondents had expressed confidence in the President – after his speech, that number dropped to 69%, according to Pew.
Greece, which has been rocked by a government-debt crisis, was the only country surveyed in which a majority (58%) said they had little or no confidence in the U.S.
This year’s poll saw a rise in people who identified the U.S. as the world’s leading economy – with majorities or pluralities in seven of the 16 nations polled naming America as the principal fiscal power. Only Australians placed China first, and in the remaining countries, opinions were divided.
In 2014, the median percentage across France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK naming the U.S. as the world’s top economic power was 34%, while 49% listed China. In this year’s poll those trends were reversed – 40% of respondents across those five nations listed the U.S. as the top fiscal power, and 35% named China.
The American public has also shifted on this issue – in 2014, 41% said China was the leading economy, and 40% chose the U.S., while in this year’s poll, 34% chose China and 54% picked the U.S.
Americans seen as arrogant and greedy?
When surveyed about the qualities of Americans, international responses were a mixed bag.
Majorities in Australia, Greece, the UK, Spain, Canada and China described Americans as violent, while in the U.S., 42% of respondents described their fellow countrymen that way. Nationally, public opinion on the issue is divided along partisan lines: 50% of Democrats and 44% of independents characterize Americans as violent, while only 29% of Republicans do so.
Half or more of respondents in 15 of 16 nations said Americans are optimistic by nature, and majorities in 14 countries said they are hardworking.
U.S. and international respondents also agreed on two less flattering traits: arrogance and greed. Fifty percent or more of respondents in 10 countries said Americans are arrogant and many said they are greedy, and a majority in the U.S. agreed.
The nations surveyed by Pew were: China; India; Australia; Japan; Greece; Germany; Spain; the UK; Hungary; the Netherlands; France; Sweden; Italy; Poland; Canada; and the U.S.
Most Americans say Obama didn’t make progress on race relations
In a separate Pew poll released Monday, more than 60% of Americans say Obama failed to make progress in race relations (28%), made them worse (25%) or has not addressed them at all (8%).
Views of the President’s performance on improving race relations vary greatly depending on ethnic and racial group. More than half – 51% – of black Americans think Obama has made progress in improving race relations whereas less than a third – 28% – of white Americans feel the same way. Nearly 40% of Hispanics believe that Obama has made progress in improving race relations.
Only 5% of black Americans believe Obama made race relations worse while about a third – 32% – of white Americans believe that. And only 13% of Hispanics believe the President has made things worse in the area of race relations.
Views on Obama’s performance are also split among partisan lines. More than 60% of white Republicans say Obama has made race relations worse. That view is higher – 71% – among white Republicans who self-identify as conservative.
In contrast, about half – 52% – of white Democrats say the President has made progress toward improving race relations.