Obama is Mr. Popular around the globe

A new survey finds President Obama enjoys an international approval rating of 61 percent, proving he isn’t just an American favorite.

Jason Reed/Reuters/File
US President Barack Obama delivers a speech in Hradcany Square, Prague, Czech Republic, on April 5.

If there were a reality show called "World Political Idol," President Obama would win in a walk.

Around the globe, Mr. Obama inspires more confidence - by a wide margin - than any other national leader, according to a recent 20-country poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org.

An average of 61 percent of respondents expressed a lot or some belief that the US chief executive would "do the right thing regarding world affairs," in the survey's phrase. (This figure excludes US voters, for whom the comparable figure was 70 percent.)

Second place in this "Earth's Got Talent" was a tie between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Their confidence rating was 40 percent.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Not through to the final round! Only 28 percent of respondents around the world had any confidence in his abilities. He was last among major leaders rated by voters from around the world.

The WorldPublicOpinion poll surveyed about 20,000 people in countries that make up 62 percent of the world's population. Most of the biggest nations were included, among them China, India, Russia, the US, and Indonesia.

Obama did not do well everywhere. Only 23 percent of Russians had any confidence he would do the right thing. (By contrast, Russians gave an 82 percent thumbs-up to their own Prime Minister Valdimir Putin.)

In Pakistan, Obama won only 30 percent approval. In Egypt, the figure was 39 percent, despite the US president's attempts to reach out to the Muslim world.

By contrast, there are nations where Obama is far more popular than he is at home. In Great Britain, 92 percent of respondents said they had confidence in his actions. In Kenya, it was 95 percent.

While Obama hit the 55 percent mark in China, he was out-polled there by Prime Minister Putin, whose confidence rating among Chinese was 64 percent.

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