Biden’s election rebounded America’s global image, Pew research shows

A new Pew Research Center survey showed America’s international image rebounded as President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but many people are still concerned about the country’s political system.

Researchers polled residents in 12 different countries and found that a median of 75% of survey takers had confidence "in Biden to do the right thing in world affairs," compared to the 17% who said that about Trump in 2020.

The center also noted that presidential transitions have always greatly impacted the way the world sees the U.S. The country’s favorability rose when former president Barack Obama took office in 2009 and declined when Trump took office in 2017, according to the report. 

The center said U.S. favorability has increased again.

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Countries like France, Germany, Japan, Italy, The Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, Australia and Greece all gave an increase in ratings for the U.S. from 2020 to 2021. However, Taiwan said 61% of its residents favor the U.S., down from 68% from a 2019 poll. 

Researchers credit the increase in ratings to Biden’s "positive assessments of his personal characteristics," a stark contrast to Trump’s image, according to the survey. Few people think Biden is arrogant or dangerous, while large majorities thought those characteristics of Trump, the survey noted.

A majority of survey takers also approved the U.S. rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump withdrew from during his stint in the White House.

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Despite the positive news for America’s image, researchers said some countries, like New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Sweden, question the functionality of the U.S. political system, saying the country’s democracy has not been as good of an example as it had been in the past.

Most people who took the survey said the U.S. doesn’t take into account the interests of other countries like theirs when making international policy decisions.

However, nearly all of the people surveyed in different countries believe relations with the U.S. will stay the same or improve over the next few years. 

Biden is plunging into the next phase of his administration with the steady approval of a majority of Americans, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows Biden is buoyed in particular by the public’s broad backing for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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In the fourth month of his presidency, Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 63%. When it comes to the new Democratic president’s handling of the pandemic, 71% of Americans approve, including 47% of Republicans.

Despite the overall positive assessments of Americans, Biden’s advisers are well aware that the next phase of his presidency is potentially trickier. Vaccination rates have slowed, and the administration is grappling with how to persuade those who are reluctant to get the shots about their safety and efficacy.

Immigration, in particular, has become a growing concern for the White House as it grapples with an increase in migration, including by unaccompanied minors, at the U.S. border with Mexico. Republicans have tried to tie the uptick to Biden’s rollback of more stringent border policies enacted by his predecessor, Trump.

The president also receives lower marks on gun policy, which has catapulted back to the forefront of the national debate following a string of mass shootings across the country. Americans are largely split over Biden’s approach to the issue, with 48% approving and 49% disapproving.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.