April 13th, 2010
12:52 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans say Obama respected by world leaders

President Obama walks with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Monday at the nuclear security summit in Washington.
President Obama walks with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Monday at the nuclear security summit in Washington.

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama hosts a major international summit in the nation's capital, a majority of Americans say that he wins the respect of world leaders, according to a new national poll.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Tuesday indicates that 56 percent of the public believe that international leaders respect Obama. While that's down 16 points from a year ago, Obama scores higher than his predecessors.

"President Obama does fare better on that question than Bill Clinton did in 1994 or George W. Bush did after the start of the war in Iraq," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The 56 percent he gets on that question now is down significantly from 72 percent who felt that way last March, when Obama was still in his 'honeymoon' phase and his poll results on virtually every question were in the political stratosphere."

Full results (pdf)

The president on Tuesday is hosting the second day of a two-day summit of 47 nations focusing on how to better safeguard nuclear weapons materials, both old and new, and keep them out of the hands of terrorists.

The survey also indicates that 45 percent say that Obama pays the right amount of attention to the views of foreign leaders; three in ten say the president pays too much attention and one in five say he pays too little attention.

In addition, the poll shows that 51 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, and that 47 percent disapprove. The 51 percent approval rating is unchanged from late March and up five points from mid-March.

The survey indicates a gender gap: 56 percent of women approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, compared to 47 percent among male respondents. There is also a generational divide, with 62 percent of people under 40 giving the president a thumb's up. His approval rating among those 40 and older drops to 46 percent. Finally, there is also an income split: 58 percent of those making less than $50,000 a year approve of Obama's job performance, and 48 percent of those making $50,000 or more approve of his performance.

Obama's approval rating in the latest CNN poll is higher than in some other recent polls by other organizations.

"One possible explanation is that Obama's best groups - particularly women, younger people, and lower-income Americans - may be reticent about sharing their views on Obama now; how polling organizations handle those respondents typically affects Obama's overall numbers," adds Holland. "CNN's poll has just two percent who don't have a view about the president. Other national polls taken in April have had anywhere between 7 percent and 15 percent in the 'don't know' category. The higher 'don't know' response might be an indication that Obama's support among these groups is understated in those polls."

The CNN poll was conducted April 9-11, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: CNN poll • President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Dano

    What a refreshing change from the Idiot-In-Chief we had for 8 years prior to President Obama's election. I know some of the neanderthals out there still think that it's better to be feared in the world than it is to be respected, but I've always found you get more help and cooperation from others when they admire and respect you than when they hate and fear you.

    April 13, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. normajean

    This president has brought about a lot of respect for our country that had been lost in the recent past, which is extremely important . I want to use this opportunity to tell all of those Sarah lovers who claim that Obama has no more experience than she, that if they can read, they should "Google" the president and read of his legislative experience while a Senator from Illinois. There are those who ,with all the lights on are still in the dark. Try reading before talking. Amazing, it really works.

    April 13, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Ellie

    THANK YOU President Obama. I've never seen a President work so hard since day one. I thank you for ALL that you do and continue to do for our country. You have proven to be an exceptional President and a positive role model around the world.

    You've restored credibility, integrity and HONOR to the American people. You have shown the world that you don't have to be a THUG or a BULLY when it comes to world issues, policies and politics. World Leaders gravitate to you because you have proven yourself to be focused, committed, politically savvy, highly educated and honorable.

    Americans need to realize, we don't have to be a THUG to earn respect and accomplish goals around the world. Sometimes being INTELLIGENT, COMPOSED and COMMITTED rather than NEGATIVELY REACTIVE or DOMINATIVE pays a bigger dividend in the long run.

    Thank You Mr. President.

    April 13, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. MN Lib

    I bet the reason it's down is because the angry republican base out there thinks that countries don't respect him because of his nuclear summit, though it should be the other way around.

    April 13, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. FM

    It is good that the World Leaders respect the President. But polling the Americans, is like asking their views!

    April 13, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. anthony

    Respected by world leaders, but not by conservative right wing Americans...

    Look in the mirror America. We are not the center of the world.

    April 13, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Boy, that must rankle for you GOPers/conservatards, eh? I mean, the whole world thought Bush and Cheney were disgusting, borderline retarded, insulting pieces of hot filth best left ignored. Just look at Iran...they rolled their eyes at Bush's chest thumping and continued building their nukes in a more secretive manner than before...super productive diplomacy there, hot shot. There's no "yeah, but the world respected and feared them" about it either...NOBODY outside of our own imbecile Republican population had or has any respect for those two tapdancing sacks of human trash. And if you think fear equals respect, you failed kindergarten. So what's left for the GOP to argue?? Here...let me paraphrase:

    "BE AFRAID!!!! BE SCARED!!!! HIDE IN YOUR CLOSET!!!! WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!! WE IS GONNA BLOWED UP AND DIE!!! CHINA IS GOING TO EAT YOUR BABIES AND IRAN WILL SEX YOUR GRANDMA!!! THE WORLD IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY BROWN PEOPLE AND WE HATE IT!!!"

    Yawn.

    April 13, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. We Got Your Back

    Under the leadership of President Obama, the United States has eliminated more Taliban and Al Queda members in Afghanistan & Pakistan than under President Bush. Missile attacks by Predator drones are way, way up under our current Commander-in-Chief.

    Pirates that terrorized shipping off the coast of African find themselves shot dead under an Obama administration. He is hardly a man to be taken for granted.

    Even with that, the nations of the world have far more respect for the United States because our President doesn't swagger, doesn't declare "Mission Accomplished", doesn't exclaim, "I'm the decider", doesn't call military actions in the Middle East a "crusade", doesn't spout of that we want our enemies "Dead or Alive".

    A man can be cultured, educated, intellectual, genteel, and socially proper i.e. a DEMOCRAT and still be tough.

    April 13, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Dave

    That's because Americans are ill informed because they get their news from mass media that is controlled anyway. There are many major leaders that think he is a buffoon now. Just ask Putin, Sarkozy, Netanyahu, etc......

    April 13, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Michael

    Of course President Obama is respected by world leaders. Most of the world (and their leaders) is made up of reasonable, peace-loving people. They are relieved at the U.S. president being a well-educated and civil man of reason, as opposed to a crazed, trigger-happy redneck or a tool for Big Industry.

    April 13, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. cnn = 100% democrat support all the time

    yeah i guess that explains why china is fighting sanctions against iran, they like obama . . .

    nice spin cnn.

    April 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. abe

    Why does the president gets respected by world leaders?

    He is genuine.
    Believes in dialogue.
    He listens good communicator.
    He believes in reaching out than looking out for conflict.
    He can be tough when need be. He also has respect for the human race and believes the world we live in is not as bad as it meant to be. I think our problem in foreign policy has been that we pamper the leaders of our allies and not the citizens of the country.The president makes sure the political issue goes hand in hand with the citizens issue. I think his biggest gift or message is that he believes in vision and hope. Those two words have resonated in his travels around the world and a much needed message that has been absent for a long time. People like to hear words that are encouraging and comforting instead of misery. God Bless.

    April 13, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. MAD IN TEXAS

    AMERICA SAYS??? What is this. Who asked the majority of us Americans. We like all other countries think he is a fool with an agenda. One that will hand The United States over to the MUSLIM countries. He will take Russia and England with us when we fall. Already he is way ahead of his Anti-Christ agenda. He has taking control of major car manufactors. and is socializing medicine whether the States can pay for it or not. This means that the Poor and Elderly will perish under his program of medicare and medicaid, plus no more raise in Social Security. You will be living under overpasses if your over 65 years of age in about a year. You think these incumbents care. Not one bit. Their pockets are full and getting fuller. Let's go Tea Party let's take America back come November.

    April 13, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Our President is respected, unlike the previous nitwit!

    April 13, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    OMG – look at our president – walking BEHIND him. I'm sure he bowed upon the initial greeting and apologized for the US.

    April 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Jilli

    THIS is what dipolmacy looks like.

    April 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Indy

    If you actually polled other countries instead of Americans, his approval rating globaly would be much higher. He is one of the most respected President or Prime Minister in the world.

    April 13, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. ToughLove

    I guess most Americans just don't keep up with current events.

    April 13, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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