New research by Pew International shows that, across Europe, citizens overwhelmingly back Barack Obama’s re-election:
“There is still considerable support for his re-election in many countries, especially in Europe.
“Roughly nine-in-ten in France (92%) and Germany (89%) would like to see him re-elected, as would large majorities in Britain (73%), Spain (71%), Italy (69%) and the Czech Republic (67%).”
Although the percentage of Britons holding a broadly favourable view of the United States has declined by nine points over the course of Obama’s first term, a solid 60% majority retains such a view.
Moreover, 80% of Britons have confidence in Obama’s presidency: only 16% said the same of George W. Bush in 2008.
The latter figure, alongside the strong pan-European support for his reelection, suggests genuine support for Obama in and of himself, as opposed to a pragmatic preference for him over Mitt Romney.
However, the report does show that the global perceptions of Barack Obama – in particular on specific issues – reveals that worldwide approval of Obama has declined significantly over the past four years:
“In nearly every country where trends are available, support for Obama’s international policies has declined over the last three years“,
“On a number of specific issues, there is a sense that Obama has not lived up to the expectations people had for him when he first took office.”
These include climate change, relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and multilateral foreign policy.
On the final issue:
“there remains a widespread perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries”.
The use of drone strikes as a major counter-terrorist strategy emerges as a particular concern, with over 50% of respondents in 17 out of 20 countries featured in the research opposing their use.
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