Biden Is Much More Popular Than Trump Around the World
This article is part of a series on Global Perceptions of the United States, leveraging surveys from 17 countries on six continents to understand how American society, culture and politics are perceived around the world.
Former President Donald Trump is widely disliked abroad, both in comparison to President Joe Biden and the Republican Party, illustrating a potential foreign relations pitfall should he win back the White House in 2024, according to Morning Consult survey data from 17 countries.
How the World Views U.S. Leaders and Political Parties
Biden has a much better image abroad than Trump
- More adults than not in all countries surveyed view both Biden and the Democratic Party favorably, which means the president is doing better abroad than at home, where U.S. adults are 11 percentage points more likely to disapprove than approve of his job performance.
- Memories of Trump’s often dismissive and caustic attitude toward foreign allies and partners had an apparently enduring impact. Even in Ghana and Indonesia, the only two countries where he is comfortably more likely to be viewed favorably than unfavorably, he trails Biden’s net favorability rating — the share with a favorable view minus the share with an unfavorable view — by at least 30 points. His worst numbers all come from G-7 countries, some of America’s most important and powerful allies, where his net favorability rating is underwater by at least 37 points.
- Trump’s toxicity abroad stands in contrast to views of the Republican Party, which is much more popular in developing countries, even coming close to rivaling Democrats in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia. That said, the populaces of the United States’ most important allies — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom — are all more likely to have an unfavorable view of the GOP than a favorable one.
The global community’s antipathy for Trump could come back to bite the GOP
Views of the United States rose sharply across much of the world immediately after Biden’s 2020 victory and subsequent inauguration in 2021. Foreign policy experts say views of the United States could again take a nosedive if Trump is re-elected in 2024. Comparing Trump’s poor favorability numbers abroad to views of the Republican Party shows that the GOP would likely further damage its public opinion in key ally countries and sap considerable goodwill in developing countries if it renominates him for president in 2024.
Obviously, views among foreign nationals matter little to campaign strategists trying to maximize the GOP’s chances at retaking the White House. But should they prove successful in re-electing Trump, his reputation abroad will help define the scope of his foreign policy options. Allied leaders in Europe and Asia may think twice about following the lead of a U.S. president that their own voters can’t stand, potentially harming the United States’ ability to lead on the global stage.
How U.S. Democracy and Foreign Policy Is Viewed Abroad
America’s closest allies have the least rosy views of U.S. democracy, foreign policy
- People in highly developed countries with strong democracies are the least likely to rate American democracy as “good” or “excellent,” with less than a third of adults in France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan or the United Kingdom giving it positive marks. As we’ve seen in previous installments in this series, the trio of wealthy Anglophone countries with majority-white populations — Australia, Canada and Great Britain — have the most critical views, with roughly 3 in 10 respondents in each country saying U.S. democracy is “poor” or “terrible.”
- People in more recently established democracies tend to have more esteem for American democracy. Less than 10% of adults in Brazil, Indonesia, Poland, Peru, Colombia, Kenya and Ghana — all of which experienced autocratic rule at various points in the latter half of the 20th century — say U.S. democracy is “poor” or “terrible.”
- Among all European countries surveyed, the share of adults with positive views of U.S. foreign policy is similar to the share who have favorable opinions of American democracy. The developing world is on the whole less enthused with U.S. foreign policy than with U.S. democracy, but the contrast is particularly stark in Ghana and Kenya. More than 3 in 5 adults in those countries have positive views of U.S. democracy, but just under half say the same about U.S. foreign policy.
- Few people in any of the countries surveyed say relations with the United States are “poor” or “terrible,” but perhaps counterintuitively, adults in countries that Washington considers its closest partners are among the least likely to say relations are “good” or “excellent,” while majorities in most of the rest of the world say relations are positive.
The Morning Consult surveys were conducted Oct. 14-18, Oct. 26-29, Nov. 16-21 and Dec. 15-30, 2022, among a representative sample of 1,000 adults in each country, with unweighted margins of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.