How does the rest of the world feel about the United States? They are fans, according to a survey of [checks notes] Americans.
More than half of Americans say the country is viewed favorably by other countries, with 54 percent expressing that opinion in a Gallup poll released Thursday. This is similar to how we’ve felt for the last few years, but it is a sizable change from where we were a little under a decade ago, when a majority of Americans thought the rest of the world didn’t care much for us during the tail end of George W. Bush’s time in the White House and the first year of President Obama’s administration.
A big part of this is filtered through the prism of the country’s commander-in-chief, of course. While nearly seven in 10 Democrats (68 percent) say the world views the United States positively, just four in 10 Republicans (39 percent) feel the same way.
A different Gallup poll released this week says that a narrow majority of Americans (51 percent) say that other world leaders do not respect Obama, while 45 percent think he is respected. For the first five years of Obama’s presidency, a majority always told Gallup they felt he was respected, with the percentage feeling this way peaking at 67 percent at the start of his first term and hovering just north of 50 percent before, during and after his 2012 reelection campaign. Two years ago, the “he’s not respected” group became the majority:
The uptick of Americans saying this year they think he is respected stems, largely, from big changes in the way Democrats and independents feel. Gallup said that one in seven Republicans think Obama is respected, a number that slightly decreased this year from last. Democrats and independents, meanwhile, both saw double-digits jumps in people now saying other world leaders respect Obama.
However, even though we think we are viewed favorably as a nation, Americans remain dissatisfied bunch. That is because we are not terribly pleased with our perceived global standing. When Gallup asked Americans about the country’s position in the world, rather than just how other people feel about us, almost two out of three Americans say they are dissatisfied.
On this front, Americans are consistent. The trend here stretches across presidencies of both parties and dates back to the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the beginning of the most recent war in Iraq. The last time a majority of Americans said they were satisfied, rather than dissatisfied, was in 2003 after the invasion of Baghdad. By 2004, people unhappy with our world standing began to outnumber those who were happy with it, and so it has been for more than a decade. A little more than half of Democrats (52 percent) are satisfied with our current standing, while a much smaller number of Republicans (19 percent) feel the same way. (Americans are also evenly split on whether the U.S. is the top military power in the world, Gallup reports.)
This sentiment — a feeling that we are liked, sure, but that we are worried about standing in the world — would seem worth keeping in mind as the presidential election grinds on, and as a candidate who has frequently complained during rallies and media appearances about America not winning anymore remains the consistent frontrunner in one of the nominating contests.