According to a new Gallup poll, by the time Barack Obama reached his fourth year in office in 2012, the world had grown far more disenchanted with American leadership.
In 2009, 130 countries were polled, and the median approval level of United States leadership was 49%. That number dropped to 41% in 2012, which was approaching worldwide approval numbers posted for George W. Bush’s last two years of his presidency, when his numbers stood at 38% in 2007 and 34% in 2008.
In Africa, Obama’s numbers dropped from 85% in 2009 to 70% in 2012; in the Americas the numbers plummeted from 53% to 40%. In Europe, the decrease was more sudden, running from 47% in 2009 to 45% in 2010 and 42% in 2011. In 2012, Obama's approval rating nosedived to 36% as the European economy started to tank.
Countries such as France, Spain, and Sweden showed steep declines, as well as in countries where the economic crisis was the most brutal, like Hungary, Croatia, Macedonia, and Austria. Unsurprisingly, the lowest estimate of American leadership came from Russia.
In Asia, the median approval numbers remained virtually unchanged.