It’s not a good time to be Donald Trump. The United States president is under intense scrutiny (even more than usual) for ordering the drone strike that killed Iran’s most important general last week. The move has heightened tensions between the two countries, sparking fears of World War III.
Trump has always been controversial and confidence in him has generally been low since assuming office in 2016. But it turns out that some parts of the world still think he could do a good job. Top on the list is the Philippines.
In a new survey by the Pew Research Center released this week, the Philippines showed the highest support for the U.S. president, with 77 percent of Filipinos saying that they are confident he would do the right thing when it comes to world affairs.
The survey was conducted across 33 countries from May 18 to October 2, 2019 via face-to-face interviews among 36,923 respondents.
Trump has retained warm ties with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who himself remains popular despite his controversial policies and comments.
Across the countries surveyed, a median of 64 percent said they did not have confidence in Trump, while just 29 percent expressed confidence in him.
According to the Pew Research Center, perceptions of Trump were more positive in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa but are low in most European countries. Following the Philippines’ trust level are Israel with 71 percent and Kenya with 65 percent.
The survey also revealed that young people tend to express more positive opinions about the U.S. In 21 of the 33 countries surveyed, those ages 18 to 29 have a more favourable view of the U.S. than people 50 and older.
Views of Trump are closely linked to attitudes toward the U.S. as a whole, so his high rating among Filipinos does not really come as a surprise. A 2014 study revealed that Filipinos like the U.S. even more than Americans do.
But this love is not unwavering. Although the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, has always favoured the North American superpower, the latest Pew Research survey shows that their favourable view of the U.S. has dropped down in recent years. From a score of 92 percent in 2015, under the Obama administration, it is now down to 80 percent.
The Philippines also rated other international world leaders relatively high. Sixty-one percent said they trust Russian President Vladimir Putin, while 58 percent said the same about Chinese President Xi Jinping.