February 18th, 2009
04:49 PM ET
8 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. C.S.A republicans

    As a member of the skull and bones,President Obama should help return any remains of Geronimos body that were taken by this evil group of woshippers.

    February 18, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Karl

    Americans voted for Bush. Bush kept Americans safe. Thats all that matters.
    Why should we bother about the World's opinion? Did the World ask what the Americans thought when they elected Castro, Ahmadinejad, Putin, Hugo or even for that matter Gordon Brown, Livni or Vicente Fox?

    February 18, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  3. Paul , Nova Scotia

    We should have a national holiday, I only wish we would have had more notice. i just may take the day off work anyways, America doesn't know how lucky you all are to have such a insperational , phenom for a leader.

    the rest of us are on the outside looking in and we like what we see in such a true world leader.

    Welcome to Canada Mr President and i hope this is the first of many visits to our country.

    February 18, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. chucky1169469

    Jon in Ca......what promise did he break...he has always said he was gonna go after the poeple who attacked us....but of course you hate him sooooo much that he can never do anything to please you.

    February 18, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. Adrian in CA

    One thing that I have not seen any news or heard anything about is this. People are going missing in my neighborhood. There was also a guy at work that just stopped coming in last week. Where is Obama sending these people? What did they do wrong?

    February 18, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |



    February 18, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Obama digging a hole in Afghan

    Mr Obama took the first step of many to dig the graves of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan. I am totally against sending more troops into a corrupt state with no tactical mission and no hope for a military solution. There are just too many competing factions. Will the US ever learn from its mistakes?

    We are supporting a corrupt government which is in the heroin business.

    When the Russians fought there for 10 years, the US supported Osama Bin Laden, at the time, a famous Afghan freedom fighted.

    We have no business sending troops there. Obama has acknowledged that there is not a military solution. SO wht send in 20,000 targets? Get them all out - NOW

    February 18, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. Jayson

    Hey Mr. President your inexperience is showing.

    February 18, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. You know the Republican party is toxic when ... Palin bails on NRCC & CPAC

    Why is Mr. Obama responsible for repairing everything after 3 weeks in office that it took his predecessor 8 years to destroy?! Get a grip and deal with the the reality, complexity and gravity of the issues, people!

    February 18, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Ken

    Hey Floyd in New York: you and McCain coupled repeatedly with billygoats!! Prove me wrong!!!

    Boy the rightwing sure has its panties in a bunch! I haven't heard a factual, well thought-out argument of over 3 sentences from any [R] since a month before the Nov. election. Its like they turned themselves into a population of vacuous zombies......and they're ready to follow their lead zombie Rush over the cliff. I hope they wait.....first, I want to get a beer, pull up a chair, and put on some good music while I watch them take the leap!

    February 18, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. reality check, ky

    Barack Obama is the hardest working president I've ever seen.

    Very impressed.

    (much better than Bush...MUCH better)

    February 18, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Afghanistan's Another Fiasco

    Admitting failure is better than perpetuating failure. No country on earth will help the U.S. make war in Afghanistan. And the U.S. won't succceed on its own. So . . . let's do the obvious and just pull out.

    February 18, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  13. Kim

    Jon in CA: Most of his campaign promises have been broken? Most? Really? According to Politifact.com, he made more than 500 promises. So far, they've tracked him as having kept 11, compromised on 3, has 20 in the works and hasn't yet acted on 474. Only two have been 'broken' as you say, and one of those could potentially turn around before it's all said and done. 2/500 promises isn't MOST. You might want to check your math, dude.

    February 18, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. jacobs

    Republicans are cowards if they love America they should have impeached bush he destroyed our country for 8 years and they stood by in zombie silence!!! Obama has only been President for less than a month and they think they can pull wool over our eyes....hang on to your hats Republicans the next elections will be a complete flushing!!! Its time to remove the obstructionist do nothing drama queens repubs from office!!!

    February 18, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. Larry

    I say ....IMPEACH OBAMA NOW,before he is allowed to do even more damage to our country !!!!! This guy has trashed our Constitution and country at a record pace,in less than one month he's spent or is working on spending,more money than Bush did in eight years.

    February 18, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Susan in NC

    Please, one of you naysayers, please tell me what campaign promises President Obama has broken? I can't think of one - some he obviously hasn't even gotten to yet - he does have a couple of inherited calamities to work on. He has so far done exactly what he said he would do. I, for one, could not be more thrilled with his efforts, his attitude, his leadership, and his abilities.

    February 18, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. arithmetic is liberal

    Jon in CA February 18th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

    Barry Obama just announced a troop INCREASE in Afghanistan and has broken MOST of his campaign promises within the first 30 days of office.

    WHY would any foreign leader put any trust in this guy? International Leaders are OBVIOUSLY more intelligent than the average ACORN-induced obamabot.


    Hey Jon from CA, I mean Orange County

    Increasing troops in Afghanistan WAS one of his campaign promises!
    Of course considering that you were kevetching over his birth certificate right up until the inauguration, I have a feeling you missed that.

    February 18, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Gene

    Jon in Ca is another retard with selective hearing. From day 1 Obama has said he wants to take troops out of Iraq, and wanted to increase troops in Afghanistan and get Bin Laden.

    February 18, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Obama 2.0

    Yes we can!

    February 18, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Lynn

    JON: President Obama campaigned and stated that he would focus his attention on Afghanistan where the real threat of terrorists lies. This included increasing troop levels. Criticize by all means but try to at least get your facts straight.

    February 18, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. Once you vote Black

    Our fallen troops were Americans also. Bush did not keep them safe as he elected to put them in harms way. Also, there is no way to know if anything Bush did kept us safe except for the wire taps. But he did not protect the troops.

    February 18, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. sherry

    Karl we should care what the world think's of the United States because we cant go at it alone........

    Bush was a bullhead and didn't care what other countries said about not invading Iraq.

    Obama will try to bring unity and accord with other nation's and that will help heal our respect from other nation's on how they feel about us.....that is important.

    I think time will tell and in the long term.... Obama will bring respect and homor back....something that Bush totally threw by the wayside.

    February 18, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. JJ

    The REPUBLICANS will never support President Obama.

    They will support him the same way the DEMOCRATS supported him on day one when he took office....

    February 18, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. rich

    Hey Karl,Jimmy Carter keep America safe so whats the point.

    February 18, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. pete

    You misread the poll results. Foreign leaders may like Obama more and have more hope that he will cave to their demands, but they certainly do not respect him more. You'll see soon, when they start asking us to give even more. Bush kept our true friends with us. Obama is courting our fair whether friends.

    February 18, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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