President Obama Leaves Office with High Worldwide Approval Ratings – But Global Expectations for Trump Are More Pessimistic

The data indicates a shifting in eras for the American position in the world. The Obama administration was seen by many in global community as a president looking outward from our borders; while President Trump won the election by looking inwards and reinforcing the borders. Though it is clear that the public thinks this era might be short lived, with 1/3 believing Trump will be impeached in 2017.

President Obama Leaves Office with High Worldwide Approval Ratings – But Global Expectations for Trump Are More Pessimistic

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Ipsos Public Affairs, Canada
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The world has a much more positive view of President Obama’s time in office compared to the lack of optimism they express about Donald Trump’s impending term, according to an Ipsos poll of over 18,000 people globally.

The study, among online adults aged under 65 in 24 different countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States) asked people to predict how President Trump will take to his new role and to review Obama’s presidency.

President Obama’s Approval Ratings

Obama leaves his office with high worldwide approval ratings - nearly all countries rate him positively, with an average of 76% saying he has been a good president of the USA.

  • Opinions are particularly high in South Korea and India, where around nine in 10 have a positive view of Obama’s time in office. On the other hand, Russia stands out as the only country with an overwhelming negative opinion (87% think he was a bad president).
  • Americans themselves are much more split - 56% think Obama was a good president and 44% think he was a bad president.

Americans are more divided about their new president – around half (52%) think Donald Trump will make a good president and half (48%) think he will be a bad president – not that far off the final assessment they gave to Obama’s presidency.

Predicting Donald Trump’s Presidential Performance

Worldwide, people are much less sure of Donald Trump – only a minority in most countries predict he will make a good president (34% on average, while 66% think he will be a bad president). In particular, Spain, Mexico and Great Britain are pessimistic, with around four in five expecting Trump to do a bad job. Russia again stands out from worldwide opinion and is significantly more positive about Donald Trump as president (74% think he will be good), although two in three Indians (65%) are also optimistic.

Despite this, only a minority predict an impeachment for President Trump in 2017; on average 31% think it is likely, 48% think it is unlikely, and the rest (21%) are on the fence:

  • Four in ten (41%) Canadians believe it is likely that he will be impeached in 2017, making Canadians among the most likely to think so, only slightly behind those in Italy (42%) and Turkey (42%).
  • One in three (34%) Americans think it is likely that he will be impeached in 2017.

Commenting on the findings, Cliff Young, President, Ipsos Public Affairs, US said:

"The data indicates a shifting in eras for the American position in the world. The Obama administration was seen by many in global community as a president looking outward from our borders; while President Trump won the election by looking inwards and reinforcing the borders. Though it is clear that the public thinks this era might be short lived, with 1/3 believing Trump will be impeached in 2017.

The numbers from Ipsos’s latest Global @dvisor poll echo, in many ways, our recent poll of foreign diplomats in the United States who raised concerns that America’s international presence would be waning under a Trump administration."

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between December 23, 2016 and January 7, 2017. For this survey, a total of 18,070 interviews were conducted among adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries. The survey was conducted in 24 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system (between 500 – 1,000 interviews were carried out in each country). 

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Ipsos Public Affairs, Canada

Society