Global approval of US jumps nearly 20 per cent under Biden

Biden matches Obama’s approval rating during his first year in office

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 19 October 2021 18:20
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Approval of US leadership has risen almost 20 per cent during the first six months of Joe Biden’s presidency after former President Donald Trump left the White House in January.

A new report by Gallup shows that the ratings of the US have recovered from the record lows seen during the Trump administration with the median approval of US leadership across 46 countries and territories standing at 49 per cent as of early August 2021.

At the end of Mr Trump’s time in office, the median approval was at 30 per cent. Mr Biden’s rating is the same as that of his former boss, President Barack Obama, who also reached a 49 per cent approval rating in his first year in office in 2009. But Mr Biden’s disapproval rating – 36 per cent – is higher than any disapproval rating recorded during Mr Obama’s time in office between 2009 and 2017. Mr Trump’s final disapproval rating was 44 per cent, a record high and seven points above Mr Biden’s recent disapproval rating.

Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in late August, the approval of US leadership may change, but Mr Biden’s large gains make it unlikely that his approval will dip below Mr Trump’s in his final rating for his first year as US president.

In his last year in office, Mr Trump and his administration claimed a few successes in the foreign policy field such as the deal with the Taliban, criticized by some, including Mr Biden, to end the US presence in Afghanistan, and facilitating normalization of relations between Israel and several Arab states in the Middle East.

But isolationist ideas and policies shielding the US off from the rest of the world and the damage done to traditional alliances, including lack of cooperation during the pandemic, are all likely contributors to the low 30 per cent approval rating as Mr Trump left the White House.

Mr Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord on his first day in office and put a stop to the process of leaving the World Health Organization initiated by Mr Trump.

In his first speech outlining his foreign policy agenda, Mr Biden said he would work to restore US alliances through a renewed focus on diplomacy – a vow that likely reassured worried allies and partners and contributed to a surge in the approval rating of US leadership during the first half of this year.

The approval ratings of US leadership has risen by 10 per cent or more in 36 out of the 46 countries and territories included in the Gallup report looking at the first half of 2021.

In several European countries counting themselves among a group of strong US allies, the approval rating jumped at least 40 percentage points. The approval ratings spiked by 52 points in Portugal, 45 points in the Netherlands, 42 points in Norway, and 41 points in Sweden.

Ratings also rose significantly among members of the G7, with Canada seeing a rise of 38 points, 36 points in Germany, 30 points in the UK, 22 points in Italy, 18 in France, and with Japan seeing a rise of 11 points in the approval rating of US leadership.

The approval rating dipped in three countries: Russia, where it decreased by five points, Serbia, and Benin, who both saw dips of four points.

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