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

CNN Poll: Americans say Obama respected by world leaders

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/13/art.obama.jordan.gi.jpg caption="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. Ben Franklin

    And who might you be polling?

    April 13, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Not Blue, Not Red, but Purple

    YEah because he bows to them.

    April 13, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. tmichael

    It's nice that the American people think world leaders respect Obama. But wouldn't a poll of what the world leaders think of Obama be more useful?

    April 13, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Michael

    I am not suprised after having 8 years of George Bush's uneducated conversation and lack of analytical skills! President Obamat is a breath of fresh air to the whole world, somone intelligent, charismatica, wise, futuristic and effective leader! He is getting great results from his leadership decisions! The healthcare bill covered pre-existent illness, people unemployed, not currently covered by their jobs, took away caps for hospitalizations, and will cut the deficit over 20 years 1 trillion dollars! The stimulus bill has stooped the bleeding of this economy and brought it back from the precipice of collapse, where repuglicans left it! Its funny how repuglicans will support spending trillions of dollars on a War that was started on lies and deceit; and the reward for Americans is loss of life and 50,000 severe injuries, but they will not spend 1 trillion on healthcare! Repuglicans did not pay for nothing during 8 years of Bush administration, and left 8 trillion deficit and 1.3 trillion yearly deficit! They also spent or squandered Billions of the surplus left them by Bill Clinton; left 2 Wars, @ nuclear Conflicts, Wall Street, Banking, Mortgage, Auto, Education, and Healthcare crisis! The world sees what Tea party, Repuglicans and certain media outlets do not see, a President who is making and shaping history long and short term!

    April 13, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. johnnyhouse

    I am sure with your world wide reach you could name those leaders so we could find why he is so popular there and not here.

    April 13, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Angus McDugan

    Here's a poll. Obama is the laughing stock of the world and America's image is damaged as a result.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Bostonian-TheWoodlands,TX

    I'm not suprised. It's called diplomacy. Some on the far-right confuse it with weakness.

    You may be the biggest, hardest,meanest, bad-ass in the room..........but it doesn't mean you have to-as my far-right friends would say-SHOVE it down anyones throat.

    Yes, because being the biggest, and thus throwing it in the face of the world can cause resentment.

    You cannot expect nations to respect you, if you constantly threaten to wipe them out. Diplomacy first, but when all else fails,we reserve the right to use all means and force.

    President Obama knows what he is doing.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Ben

    You've gotta be kidding me! Obama respected by the world leaders? What a joke! They're laughing at him. They know he doesn't have the backbone to follow through on anything. Only CNN would publish a poll like this.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. John

    Still 56 points better than little Bush in terms of how he's viewed around the world.

    Anyone who doesn't think he garners the respect of leaders and citizens of the world alike are ignorant.

    April 13, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Tony in Maine

    Too bad he's not respected by a very vocal minority of Americans who's wild eyed rants make for great video.

    April 13, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Enough is Enough

    I am sure its only the ones who pray for our down fall.

    April 13, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Eric

    According to CNN polling, a majority of America-hating, communist lefties think Obama is doing a fine and dandy job... because he is destroying the country and spending it into oblivion. There is no way out, he has destroyed our country. Thanks to all the useful idiots out there that are reading this. I hope you enjoy the bread lines!

    April 13, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. key

    I live to hear news like this. This President is a true leader. Great leaders are made not born.

    April 13, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Compared to George Bush, Obama is a welcome relief. It's nice that our allies including the powerful French are back on the same page. Welcome to the league of states that do not abandon the poor and sick as the French President said. The Neo-Confederate view that America should not participate in world treaties is totally out of touch with reality.

    April 13, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. jim

    obama thinks before he acts. unlike far too many of the conservative crowd.

    April 13, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Susan L.

    This is so much like your incredibly idiotic front page polls that drive me around the bend. Why is it even vaguely interesting what the "American people think" in regard to something like this? That doesn't make it right or wrong. It only shows what kind of perception you people in the media are pushing to the masses one way or the other. The more salient question would be of world leaders - do you respect President Obama or not. All this shows is how Americans have been taught to think by the media one way or another or what their own political bias makes them decide to answer.

    For the record, I am an Obama voter and I still strongly support him and I do believe he is FAR more respected by leaders around the world than many, if not most, of his predecessors. I don't really care what this poll number says. I'm just appalled that you thought to ask this question! It's so much like your front page poll questions that seek to have people prognosticate on one issue or another as if they have any clue! Who cares what people in the US think the answer is. What is the actual answer?!?!? Can you all report or do you just poll for what's popular and will sell soap? What really pisses me off is the total death of journalism. I haven't seen good journalism in years and years. Left, right, or in-between, it's all just apple-polishing nonsense.

    April 13, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Me, In TX

    Americans say Obama is respected by World leaders?!?!

    Who care what Americans think? Wouldn't it just be smarter to ask the world leaders (who are conveniently gathered in one place) whether or not they respect Obama?

    What Americans 'think' and what the fact of the matter is, are not always the same thing. This pitiful circumstance is brought to you by the journalistic efforts of Paul Steinhauser and the people at FOX 'news'.

    I'm like Friday from Dragnet..."Just the fact please." Nobody really cares what you think, but rather what you KNOW and what you can prove.

    Your polls mean nothing. Polls just serve as a lame excuse for real journalism. I have never participated in any of these polls, have you? Do you know ANYONE who has participated in one of these polls? Who is doing the polling? What questions are they asking? Is the pollster bias?

    The only poll that matters is the one we all participate in during the month of November

    April 13, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |

    This is merely the opinions of unintelligent and uninformed CNN fans, who are devoid and detached from the facts of the real world. Global leaders all know that Obama is a very weak little man, and they laugh and scoff at him behind his back.

    April 13, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    In an interview the Russian president state that President Obama is a great thinker and listener because of that he has the ability to address any subject matter unlike our past president, but he wouldn't say GWB's name. President Obama is moving this country forward and World leaders are on board with him which helps change the badly damaged image of our country. Thank you Mr. President.

    April 13, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. felicia

    That's because President Obama is a respectful, dignified man. And he know's how to talk to people. Not like the repigs who act like a bunch of simpeltons. What a genuine guy. Obam 2012

    April 13, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. shucks

    It really didn't take much after the arrogance of the last administration. It is about time we garnered some of the respect we lost over the last 8 years. Just look at the numbers of troops from other countries that supported us during the Bush years? It was a joke. He and his administration had the international reputation of being a bunch of idiots. I prefer that we be able to feel pride in our leadership again and not despair.

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Brian

    Whether he is respected is a stupid question because it doesn't take into account what people think about that respect. For example, a Republican might think European leaders respect the president because the Republican thinks Obama and the EU are both socialist. So while the Republican would say "yes, they respect him," that might be a very bad thing in the Republican's eyes.

    Conversely, a Democrat might say "yes" and that yes would be in the Democrat's eyes a good thing. There are numerous other scenarios playing out with how different partisans would answer this question and why, making the ultimate results useless without more detailed information.

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Because Americans are totally qualified to guage the opinion of world leaders. What a useless poll. Have a nice day!

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    But to a right wingnut, being respected is bad, and being hated is good.

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Ron in California

    They like the way he bows to them.

    April 13, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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