By Elizabeth Vlock
Despite global confidence in President Obama himself remaining predominantly consistent, there has been a considerable decline in positivity towards his policies since taking office in 2009, according to the non-partisan Pew Research Center (PRC).
Andrew Kohut, president of the PRC presented a survey of 20 countries Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to explain the PRC’s findings.
The PRC found a correlation between the global financial crisis and drops in support for the President’s policies. Most notably, favorability declined in response to Obama’s international policies, largely due to drone strikes, and an increased belief that China has supplanted the United States as the world’s greatest economic power. Ironically, in China, the survey found that, “48% [of the Chinese] place the U.S. in top position, compared with just 29% who say China.”
In response to drone strikes that have targeted terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen, in 17 of the 20 countries surveyed, more than half disapproved of the President’s military targeting of terror suspects. Kohut noted that “as in the Bush years the biggest complaint about the United States is the perception that the United States acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other other countries when it makes major foreign policy decisions.” Unsurprisingly, the most noticeable decline in favorability towards the President’s anti-terror endeavors occurred in the Muslim countries particularly Pakistan, Turkey, and Jordan. In the United States however, the drone military attacks, remained extremely favorable with 62% of Americans approving of them.
Kohut also outlined a general consensus that “Obama has not lived up to the expectations that people had of him when he took office back in 2009.” Kohut described that upon election “many believed that [Obama] would consider their interests.”
“A plurality said that back in 2009,” Kohut said. “58% said he hasn’t done that.”
As far as the 2012 election is concerned, 11 of the 20 countries supported Obama’s bid for reelection. At the same time, according to Kohut, “fewer people around the world, especially in Europe, are now paying attention to the presidential election,” compared to a greater interest in 2008.