Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Confidence in Obama Falls Globally, Survey Finds ; Popularity Varies Widely in 21 Countries, but Many Say He Deserves 2nd Term

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Confidence in Obama Falls Globally, Survey Finds ; Popularity Varies Widely in 21 Countries, but Many Say He Deserves 2nd Term

Article excerpt

Yet many people, especially Europeans, believe that he should be given a second term, according to a survey of 21 countries released on Wednesday.

Confidence in President Barack Obama has slipped across the globe, yet many people, especially Europeans, believe that he should be given a second term, according to a survey of 21 countries released on Wednesday.

The survey, by the Pew Research Center, found that more than 80 percent of Europeans and 74 percent of Japanese say they still have confidence in Mr. Obama as he prepares for the final months of his re-election campaign. The center interviewed more than 26,000 people globally in March and April. But the survey showed that support for Mr. Obama dropped far more significantly in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East and South and Central America.

The turnaround is striking for a president who rode a wave of widespread support nearly four years ago, especially among Europeans, whose dislike of his predecessor, George W. Bush, had been simmering since the start of the war in Iraq. Mr. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office.

Today, however, overall approval of Mr. Obama's international policies has dropped significantly, particularly in Arab countries where he had made it a priority to turn around perceptions of the United States as it conducted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite having ended the U.S. war in Iraq, nowhere is Mr. Obama less popular than in parts of the Muslim world, according to the survey, which had an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 to 4.5 percentage points. People in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey were questioned, and only 24 percent said they had confidence in Mr. Obama.

In Pakistan, where relations have continued to deteriorate since American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in a raid there last year, only 7 percent expressed a positive view of Mr. Obama.

Those countries also expressed the strongest opposition to the Obama administration's use of unmanned aircraft, or drones, to target what it says are terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, with 89 percent of Egyptians rejecting the policy and 81 percent of Turks. …

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