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Pew Global Attitudes Project

Sponsor: Pew Research Center
Released: 2010-06

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Less than a third of the publics in most nations say they are satisfied with national conditions, as overwhelming numbers say their economies are in bad shape. And just about everywhere, governments are faulted for the way they are dealing with the economy. Yet in most countries, especially in wealthier nations, President Barack Obama gets an enthusiastic thumbs up for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. The notable exception is the United States itself, where as many disapprove of their president’s approach to the global recession as approve.

Publics of other largely Muslim countries continue to hold overwhelmingly negative views of the U.S. In both Turkey and Pakistan – where ratings for the U.S. have been consistently low in recent years – only 17% hold a positive opinion. Indeed, the new poll finds opinion of the U.S. slipping in some Muslim countries where opinion had edged up in 2009. In Egypt, America’s favorability rating dropped from 27% to 17% – the lowest percentage observed in any of the Pew Global Attitudes surveys conducted in that country since 2006.

Closer to home, a special follow-up poll found America’s favorable rating tumbling in Mexico in response to Arizona’s enactment of a law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration by giving police increased powers to stop and detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally. Only 44% of Mexicans gave the U.S. a favorable rating following the signing of the bill, compared with 62% who did so before the bill passed.