For the first time, more than half of Americans, 53 percent, believe President Obama is not respected by other world leaders, compared with the 43 percent who felt that way last year.
A new Gallup World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9, found that Democrats and independents are mainly responsible for the slide in Obama’s ratings, since many Republicans were already convinced that world leaders don’t respect the president.
Gallup noted that Americans’ opinions “have shifted dramatically” in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.
“[T]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 pollster concluded.
Gallup also asked Americans how they think the international community views the United States. Fifty-one percent answered “favorably,” while 47 percent said “unfavorably.”
The last time a majority of Americans were satisfied was in 2003, just after the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. By 2004, once it was clear the U.S. would be in a long-term engagement in Iraq, a majority became dissatisfied.
Americans are not overly positive about the way the president is handling foreign affairs specifically, with 40% approving of his job in that area, one percentage point above his low last November.
Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 6-9, 2014, with a random sample of 1,023 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.