February 18th, 2009
04:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Obama faces tough global sales job

Obama will travel to Canada on Thursday, his first international trip as president.
Obama will travel to Canada on Thursday, his first international trip as president.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the eve of President Barack Obama's first trip outside of the United States, a new national poll suggests that Americans think that world leaders have far more respect for him than they did for former President George W. Bush. But the Gallup survey, released Wednesday, indicates little improvement from last year in the number of respondents who are satisfied with America's standing in the world.

President Obama travels to Canada Thursday, where he’ll discuss trade issues and world affairs with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Sixty-seven percent of those questioned in the poll released on the eve of that trip say they think world leaders respect the new president. That compares with just 24 percent who said the same thing about President Bush a year ago.

The results come from Gallup's world affairs survey, which has been conducted each February since 2001.

The poll suggests American believe the president will have to work hard to improve America's international standing. Forty-five percent of those questioned think the U.S. rates favorably in the eyes of the world. That's roughly the same as the 43 percent who felt that way last year, under President Bush. And just 32 percent said they are satisfied with the standing of the United States in the world - barely higher than the 3 in 10 who felt the same way a year ago.

"Americans have a realistic view of what it will take to improve the view of the United States abroad," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "People in other countries didn't like George W. Bush, but they also didn't like his policies. Electing a different president may be step one, but step two won't occur until the new president changes U.S. policy, and that hasn't happened yet."

The Gallup poll was conducted February 9-12, with 1,022 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Erwin in PHX

    John in CA, are you serious? Obama did not say that he wouldn't send troops to Afghanistan, he said he would get the troops out of Iran and concentrate on Afghanistan because that's where Al Quaeda is. Please pay attention before you criticize Obama so that you can have something sensible to say, Obama is doing a good job. Bush was in charge for 8 years and we all know he didn't do jack for this country. Give Obama a chance.

    February 18, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Stella

    Hey you republican losers, get over it. George Bush kept us safe wake up losers the Al Quida is stronger than ever what safety are you
    talking about. All I can say you are bunch of ignorant arrogant people.
    President Obama is doing the best he can especially only being in the
    office for only a few weeks. The force be with him and I am sure the world would love him as we do. Did Bush know how to spell respect?

    February 18, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. C.S.A republicans

    Rupert Murdock owns the New YorkPost.Anymore questions?

    February 18, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    Let's see where Obama goes from here now that he has thrown a festival of money in typical brash style. Will we ever see a statesman and not just a salesman?

    February 18, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Charles from Atlanta

    Gee. suddently, there are some folks complain Obama's spending. Please look past, Bush doubled our national debt to 11 trillions. Where have you been for the past 8 years? If you combine Reagan, Sr Bush together, GOP has already bankrupted America and our future generations. Obama is cleaning the mess Bush created. Do you understand?

    February 18, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. Upen Student

    President Obama had inherited the Bush Disaster! He needs all the prayers and support he can get!

    February 18, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. Obama '09

    Coming from a Canadian..WE LOVE OBAMA!!! :)

    February 18, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Charlie in Maine

    George W was the ugliest of possible "ugly Americans" Not only will Obama do well he has the advantage of comparaison.

    February 18, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. MSNBC News

    Obama is the greatest president in history!

    February 18, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. cocopial

    Obama was not my favorite early in his campaign but I can surely say that in the end I am happy I voted for this great man.

    February 18, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. John Brown

    First get over the fact that the President is BLACK.

    The Prsident of the United States was left with 2 wars and a bankrupt country.

    He has been in office for 30 days and you already want to sink his ship. Why?

    What did President Bush do for you? He told us to spend money and act like nothing ever happened, we did and they stole every thing they could.

    He kept us safe from what? I've notice that you didn't see any terror alerts over the past year, what happened to terror alret green, blue? I think they even had orange...what in the hell is terror alert orange?

    Wake up people, we should live by our creed. ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

    February 18, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  12. m

    Tracey, LA

    The cartoon had nothing to do with Obama. He didn't write the stimulus plan. It's people like you who connected the dots and then try to call everyone else a racist. Way to go.

    I never would have made the connection...so I must be a racist.

    As far as Obama and world opinion..... Socialist love Socialists, just like liberals love liberals. Obama speaks their language.

    February 18, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. John Brown

    As I recall President Obama said more than once that he would LISTEN TO THE COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND AND DO HIS BEST TO GET THEM WHAT THEY NEED.

    Unlike 43 who said I AM THE DECIDER.

    February 18, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. Darren D. Johnson

    A 1000 people over the World, Pres Obama is DOING his work and this is in 30 days!

    February 18, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Dan

    Homeowners who are bailed out should have to take in homeless people if receiving a bailout. Foreclosures should tried to be combined making one house into a duplex and 2 foreclosed families sharing the duplex and the other house given up and sold. There is answers. Use your head. We don't have to bankrupt this country.

    February 18, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Dan

    Auto companies receiving funds should have to forgo any overtime wages to employees. We know this is wasted money.

    February 18, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. Lori

    My friends abroad all have respect for President Obama. They hated President Bush for making the world unsafe by invading Iraq- to name just a few of many Bush infractions. But they respect President Obama for his inclusiveness and intelligence. By voting him in, the world's image of America has definately change in a more positive way.

    February 18, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. albo58

    As a rule, world leaders really like our weak presidents (Carter, Clinton, etc) and despise our stronger presidents (Reagan, both Bushes, etc). They prefer someone that can be easily sold on some sort of big USA contribution to a worthy, albeit bottomless pit, world cause! They'll love our new president, trust me!

    February 18, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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