Warsaw, Poland – According to a new report by the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan US-based opinion pollster, Poland is the country in Europe where Donald Trump is viewed the most favourably.
The study, which details what the world thinks of the U.S. leader, shows that 51% of adults in Poland have confidence in Donald Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Among the countries surveyed worldwide, Poland only comes after the Philippines (77%), Israel (71%), Kenya (65%), Nigeria (58%) and India (56%).
Elsewhere in Central Europe, a notably smaller proportion of Slovaks (34%), Hungarians (33%) and Czechs (28%) trusts the U.S. president.
In fact, only 29% of the countries surveyed by Pew expressed confidence in Mr Trump last year. According to the survey, Trump inspires much less confidence globally than his predecessor, Barack Obama, and even receives more negative marks than other current world leaders, such as Germany’s Angela Merkel (46%), France’s Emmanuel Macron (41%), and even Vladimir Putin (33%)!
Pew notes that this lack of confidence is in part due to the president’s foreign policies which are deeply unpopular and that support for Trump abroad comes from people on the ideological right and those who favour right-wing populist parties in Europe.
The research points out that, since 2018, there has been an increase in confidence in Trump among people on the ideological right, mostly in European countries, and particularly in Hungary where confidence in the U.S. president has increased 22 percentage points among those who place themselves on the right end of the ideological spectrum.
Trump’s immigration policies, including his well-known plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, are also unpopular, with a few exceptions in Central and Eastern Europe and Israel, notes the report.
In addition, Trump’s restrictions on immigration are more popular among those who support right-wing populist parties in Europe. When asked whether they approve of Trump’s policy to allow fewer immigrants in the U.S., people who support the Freedom and Direct Democracy party in the Czech Republic (66%), Fidesz in Hungary (67%) and Law and Justice party in Poland (63%) are at least 20 percentage points more likely than nonsupporters to express approval.
Poland is also the country in Europe with the most positive views of the United States in general with 79% of respondents saying they have a favourable opinion of their NATO ally. The central European country even comes third worldwide behind Israel (83%) and the Philippines (80%).
Hungarians (66%) also have a positive opinion of the United States, while only 54% of Slovaks and 50% of Czechs have a favourable attitude towards Uncle Sam. By comparison, only 39% of Germans, 29% of Russians and 20% of people in Turkey have a positive opinion of the U.S.
Across 24 countries that have been surveyed consistently since 2015 and 2016, a median of 53% of adults have a favorable view of the U.S., slightly below the 64% who had a positive view at the end of the Obama administration.
In most countries surveyed, young people are more likely than their older counterparts to have a favorable view of the U.S.. The difference is particularly stark in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia where 74% and 75% of those aged 18 to 29 see the U.S. favourably, compared with only 34% and 39% of those aged 50 and older.
In Poland, however, the difference is minimal with 84% of Poles aged 18 to 29 and as much as 74% of those aged 50 and older seeing the U.S. favorably.