Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CNN's Survey says Americans Believe Obama Respected by World Leaders

A timely poll from CNN as Obama hosts world leaders for a nuclear security summit in Washington this week. Results of the poll show that 56% of Americans believe Obama is respected by major leaders of other countries. This, to me, is a question of marginal value because it says nothing about the more important question of whether world leaders actually respect President Obama. I have a few thoughts on that question but will save them for another post.

The survey is largely a reflection of Americans perception of respect and those perceptions will be shaped by how Obama is portrayed in the media. To say that Obama has enjoyed far more favorable coverage than his predecessors is an understatement.  Despite widespread media cheerleading, however, Americans have taken Obama down from his pedestal though CNN is quick to point out he enjoys a loftier position than previous presidents:
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Tuesday indicates that 56 percent of the public believe that international leaders respect Obama. While that's down 16 points from a year ago, Obama scores higher than his predecessors.

"President Obama does fare better on that question than Bill Clinton did in 1994 or George W. Bush did after the start of the war in Iraq," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The 56 percent he gets on that question now is down significantly from 72 percent who felt that way last March, when Obama was still in his 'honeymoon' phase and his poll results on virtually every question were in the political stratosphere.
Aww he has fallen from the stratosphere to a spot still above mere mortals.  What a surprise.  As we might expect, perceptions of how far Obama has fallen from the pedestal varies greatly among different demographics:
The survey indicates a gender gap: 56 percent of women approve of the job Obama is doing in the White House, compared to 47 percent among male respondents. There is also a generational divide, with 62 percent of people under 40 giving the president a thumb's up. His approval rating among those 40 and older drops to 46 percent. Finally, there is also an income split: 58 percent of those making less than $50,000 a year approve of Obama's job performance, and 48 percent of those making $50,000 or more approve of his performance.
The 16 point spread between those under 40 and those over 40 is perhaps most telling. I would guess those over 40 are far more likely to be paying close attention to Obama's performance on the world stage and here at home. It's hard to imagine yet another photo of Obama bowing before a world leader does much to raise him higher on the pedestal among the over 40 crew.  Would Jintao have preferred a kiss first?


  1. I can't imagine anyone respecting OhBowMa, Mary Sue.
    He is a joker and a liar, and other choice words I won't say.

  2. Yes he is Bunni, the guy is a total fraud.


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