On Monday, the Pew Research Center released a survey on how 37 countries view the United States under President Trump, and overall, the numbers are pretty eye-opening. In the six months since former President Barack Obama left office and Trump was sworn in, favorable views of the U.S. have dropped from 64 percent at the end of Obama's tenure to 49 percent, while unfavorable views rose from 26 percent to 39 percent. It took former President George W. Bush eight years to get numbers that bad, especially in Western Europe, Pew said, but under Trump, the change has been almost immediate.
But the drop in American esteem wasn't universal. In two of the 37 countries, people have more confidence in Trump to do the right thing than they did Obama, Pew found, and the shift is way more dramatic in Russia than Israel.
The other bright spot for Trump is that a 55 percent majority of people in the 37 countries view him as a "strong leader" — though that's below the number who view him as "arrogant" (75 percent), "intolerant" (65 percent), and "dangerous" (62 percent), and above the percentage who see him as "charismatic" (39 percent), "well-qualified to be president" (26 percent), and "caring about ordinary people" (23 percent). Broad majorities disagree with almost all of his main policies.
Foreign views of America matter because they determine how foreign leaders engage with U.S. interests, former diplomat Frank Wisner tells The Washington Post, and Trump's dismissal of traditional U.S. principles has already left a mark. "America's image has taken hits in recent years, from the decision to invade Iraq to the events of 2007 and 2008, when the American financial model took a huge hit," he said. "But the most consequential is the ascent of Mr. Trump to the Oval Office."
Pew conducted its surveys from February to May, and the margin of sampling error varies between countries from ±3.2 percentage points to ±5.7 points. You can read more about the world's views of Trump's America at Pew.