Global poll finds Biden more popular than Trump: Indians closely divided

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago/Files

Just months ahead of this fall’s election, President Biden is lagging behind his competition for the White House, former president Donald Trump, in polls among American voters. But many populations outside the United States hold a more favorable view of the president than of his predecessor when it comes to their handling of global issues, according to a survey published Tuesday, June 11, 2024, by the Pew Research Center.

In most of the 34 countries surveyed, people had more confidence in Biden than in Trump to “do the right thing regarding world affairs.” Biden’s approval was highest in European countries like Sweden, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands – the president has been a vehement supporter of Ukraine and NATO amid Russia’s invasion. He also polled higher in Asian nations like Japan and South Korea, where he has recently reaffirmed U.S. security commitments.

Biden also outranked Trump with neighbors Mexico and Canada, though Mexicans were not particularly confident in either leader: 36 percent said they had confidence in Biden to do the right thing, and 12 percent said they trusted Trump to do so.

The gap in opinion was much narrower in India, where 44 percent said they were confident in Biden and 42 percent said they were confident in his predecessor; and in Israel, where 57 percent said they trusted Biden and 54 percent said they trusted Trump.

The former president outranked Biden in Tunisia and Hungary. Hungary’s autocratic leader, Viktor Orban, met with Trump in March and has been held by the GOP, especially those in the party’s far right, as an example of strong leadership.

Since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, triggering Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, Biden has stood by Israel even as it grew further isolated on the world stage amid the devastation and high civilian death toll in Gaza. However, Biden has grown more terse with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent weeks, at times making candid and sharp comments criticizing Netanyahu’s conduct in the war.

Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza was where he was the most unpopular with the 40,566 adults surveyed between Jan. 5 and May 21 using random sampling methods. Fifty seven percent of people, based on the medians from the 34 countries, said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Thirty-one percent said they approve.

Fifty percent disapproved of his handling of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, according to the survey, while 39 percent approved.

Biden’s support for Israel amid its war in Gaza appears to have has cost the United States support across much of the Arab world. According to surveys by Arab Barometer, which collects data about populations across the Middle East, the United States is falling out of favor with people in Jordan, Lebanon and Mauritania. Even McDonald’s, with its aura of Americana, has taken a hit in the Middle East.

The White House, Biden campaign and Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



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