“U.S. slumps in global poll after Trump’s 1st year,” ran a typical headline when Gallup released its world leadership survey on Thursday. The survey, conducted across 134 countries in 2017, did indeed show a steep drop in median global approval for U.S. leadership—and it saw Germany replace the U.S. at the top of the rankings. But it also showed some surprising exceptions to the global trend.
Specifically, there were spots where approval of leadership actually increased substantially in Trump’s first year. That result held in a very exclusive—but somewhat diverse—group of four countries: Belarus, Macedonia, Liberia, and Israel.
Elsewhere, though, the annual poll provides hard evidence to back up the fears of many: That Trump’s words and actions have put Washington’s global standing at risk.
Among all 134 countries surveyed in 2017, the median approval of U.S. leadership stands at 30 percent, down from 48 percent the previous year under President Obama. It marks the lowest approval rating U.S. leadership has received around the globe since Gallup began tracking the measure more than a decade ago—a record previously set in the last year of George W. Bush’s administration, when confidence in U.S. leadership among the countries studied was at a mere 34 percent. The decline was largest in 65 countries, where U.S. popularity dipped by 10 points or more, including longtime allies such as Canada (down 40 points), Singapore (down 32), Australia (down 31), and the United Kingdom (down 26).