Apr 23, 2024 - World

International disapproval of U.S. leadership ticks upward

Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global disapproval of U.S. leadership abroad inched upward in 2023, according to a new Gallup report published Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report paints a portrait of how the U.S. is perceived internationally, as the U.S. flexes its influence on the world stage amid wars raging in Europe and the Middle East.

The big picture: Gallup's survey of more than 130 countries found that the U.S.' approval rating stayed steady from 2022 to 2023, at 41%.

  • But its disapproval rating has crept up from 33% in 2022 to 36% in 2023.
  • The relatively stable results could indicate "the world is collectively just kind of holding its breath" ahead of November's election, Julie Ray, Gallup's managing editor for world news and the report's author, told Axios.

Zoom in: The U.S. saw its approval ratings drop among several key allies and found itself losing ground to other world powers.

  • Approval for U.S. leadership in Ukraine fell from 66% in 2022 to 53% last year as the U.S. was slow to send new funding to Ukraine.
  • In Africa, median approval of U.S. leadership dropped slightly to 56% and lagged behind China, which scored a 58% approval rating — six points higher than in 2022.
  • Russia saw a median approval rating of 42% in Africa — eight points higher than the year before, matching its 2021 rating before the Ukraine invasion.

Zoom out: While the U.S.' current approval rating is lower than the 45% it enjoyed during President Biden's first year in office, the stability in the approval rating is "probably a positive," Ray said.

  • The Biden administration's rating in its third year in office is lower than most of the ratings during former President Obama's terms. However, they're higher than the ratings Gallup saw during the Bush and Trump administrations, Ray noted.

Go deeper: Most countries prefer U.S. global leadership to China's

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