US President Joe Biden saw his popularity increase in European countries bordering Russia or Ukraine; while Russian President Vladimir Putin saw his popularity slump.
Newly released polling has revealed that Joe Biden is struggling to reverse his decline in public estimation around the world, even as key allies give him credit for leading a muscular response to the war in Ukraine.
The findings come from US-based pollster Gallup, which has published its annual ratings of world leaders based on interviews from around the globe in 2022. The findings come as Biden prepares to announce a long-anticipated run for re-election, with no mainstream Democrat expected to mount a primary challenge.
According to the survey, the Biden administration’s approval rating across the 137 countries Gallup surveyed now sits at 41%, a new low after a slide that began with the disastrous American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.
Biden led his country back from a dire low in global opinion over his first six months in office, but while he has occasionally managed to push his approval rating back up towards the 50% mark on the back of occasional policy breakthroughs, its overall decline continued through last year.
That said, while the 41% rating is marginally lower than Biden’s domestic approval number of 42.5%, his global disapproval rating is a mere 33% – as opposed to 52.1% at home.
There’s also some good news for Biden in the report. Despite his overall decline in global approval, the citizens of key allied nations are warming up to him: his numbers surged in countries on the borders of Russia and the war in Ukraine, with double-digit upticks not just in Ukraine itself but also in Finland, Poland and Lithuania.
This is in dramatic contrast to Vladimir Putin, whose regime is extraordinarily unpopular across Europe as a whole. Fully 85% of Gallup’s sample disapprove of his leadership with only 7% approving, a 15-point approval plunge since last year’s survey.
This makes Putin’s government even less popular than the government of China, which sits at a grim 65% disapproval rating across the continent, its approval rating dropping by two points from 18% to 16%.
The success story in Europe, meanwhile, remains Germany, which despite a slight fall in approval (from 50% to 46%) remains more popular than it was under the leadership of Angela Merkel.
And despite some criticisms of its response to the Ukrainian emergency, with international onlookers concerned that Olaf Scholz’s government is not making good on its promises to supply Kyiv with military hardware, Germany remains Europe’s most popular major power, enjoying the approval of 56% of the continent’s citizens.