Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping
As the State of the Union approaches, the economy continues to be the public’s top priority. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority.
From Hyperpower to Declining Power
Early in the post-Sept. 11 era, the projection of American military strength led to pervasive fears of an unleashed, and unchecked, hyperpower. More recently, however, the global financial crisis has turned the spotlight to America’s declining economic prowess and perceptions of a great power in decline.
U.S. Status as World’s Superpower Challenged by Rise of China
The U.S. image abroad is more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but it now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status and the belief that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower.
U.S. Seen as Among the Greatest Nations, But Not Superior to All Others
Despite the struggling economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, the public has a positive view of the United States’ global standing. But more think that the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world than say it stands above all other countries.
U.S. Image in Pakistan Falls No Further Following bin Laden Killing
Most Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy, consider it a potential military threat and oppose American-led anti-terrorism efforts. A majority also describes bin Laden’s death as a bad thing and many say it will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the U.S. and their country.
Arab Spring Fails to Improve U.S. Image
The rise of pro-democracy movements in the Middle East has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative, as they have been for nearly a decade. And, with the exception of Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in the Muslim nations polled.
Egyptians Embrace Revolt Leaders, Religious Parties and Military, As Well
A nationwide survey of Egypt finds Egyptians mostly satisfied with the way things are going and optimistic about the country’s future. But the nation remains cautious about the prospects for political change. Also, U.S. favorability ratings remain low, and Israel fares even more poorly.
Brazilians Upbeat About Their Country, Despite Its Problems
At a time when global publics are mostly glum, half of Brazilians say they are satisfied with national conditions, and 62% say their economy is in good shape. Most also see their country as a rising global power.
Public Opinion in Pakistan: Concern About Extremist Threat Slips
Pakistanis have grown markedly less concerned about extremist groups, and are far more worried about the external threat from India. America’s image remains negative and support for U.S. involvement in the fight against extremists has waned. Many Pakistanis endorse extreme views about law, religion and society.
Obama More Popular Abroad than at Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit
The president gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the world (with the notable exception of the U.S.) for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. Obama’s personal popularity remains high, as do favorable views of the U.S. In a striking difference from the Bush years, while many around the world disagree with Obama’s foreign policies, the U.S. image has not been significantly dented as a result. Muslim countries, however, continue to hold a negative view of America and most also give Obama unfavorable ratings.