Global Poll Shows Higher Confidence in Biden Over Trump Despite Waning Faith in U.S. Democracy

Featured & Cover Global Poll Shows Higher Confidence in Biden Over Trump Despite Waning Faith in U S Democracy

People in 34 countries around the globe have expressed greater confidence in President Joe Biden than in his opponent, former President Donald Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday. Despite this, there is growing skepticism about whether U.S. democracy serves as a suitable model for the rest of the world.

The survey found that a median of 43% in the surveyed nations trust Biden to handle world affairs appropriately, compared to 28% for Trump. Biden received more favorable assessments than Trump in 24 countries, while Trump led in Hungary and Tunisia. The two men were effectively tied in eight other countries.

The increased confidence in Biden comes amid a decline in global faith in U.S. democracy. While a median of 54% across the 34 countries polled view the U.S. positively, a median of four in ten believe that U.S. democracy was once a good example for other nations but no longer is. Only a median of 21% believe U.S. democracy remains a good example, with an almost equal share, 22%, saying it never has been. Since the spring of 2021, the only other time Pew asked this question, the share of those who believe U.S. democracy is a good example has fallen in eight countries, mostly in Europe.

“People just don’t see the U.S. political system as functioning very well,” said Richard Wike, director of global attitudes research for Pew. “People see the U.S. as really divided along partisan lines.”

There is a far smaller global divide between Trump and Biden. Confidence in Biden to do the right thing in world affairs has decreased since his first year in office but remains significantly higher than that of Trump, who had relatively low global ratings during his presidency. Biden’s lowest confidence ratings were for his handling of the Israel-Hamas war, with a median of 57% expressing no confidence in his approach.

A median of 39% in the surveyed countries approved of Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine, with his highest ratings in European nations. Approximately four in ten were confident in his handling of China.

Of the five leaders rated in the survey, French President Emmanuel Macron had the highest level of confidence, just ahead of Biden, while Russian President Vladimir Putin received the lowest.

Confidence in Biden has waned in countries such as South Africa, Israel, and the U.K., but it remains consistently higher than that in Trump. Trump’s lowest ratings were in Europe, where more than eight in ten adults in France, Germany, and Sweden expressed no confidence in him. He also received poor ratings in Latin America.

Africa, which Wike noted tends to have positive views of U.S. presidents, registered some of Trump’s best numbers. Even in the two countries where Trump had higher confidence ratings than Biden, the numbers were still low. In Tunisia, for instance, only 17% expressed confidence in Trump.

Hungary is the other country where adults reported higher confidence in Trump than Biden, but the endorsement was tepid. Trump has embraced Hungary and its autocratic prime minister, Viktor Orbán, yet only 37% of Hungarians expressed confidence in Trump, compared to 24% for Biden.

The median confidence in Trump’s ability to do the right thing in world affairs was only slightly higher across the 34 countries than it was for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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