The 24-country, 24000-people survey conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project broadly confirmed the continuing positive view of the United States in India even as its image has sunk across much of the world.
In fact, favorable view of the US in India has gone up from 59 per cent in 2007 to 66 per cent in 2008, next only to South Korea (70 per cent) and Poland (68 per cent). In contrast, the US has low approval ratings in Islamic countries — Turkey (12 per cent), Pakistan and Jordan (19 per cent) and Egypt (22 per cent).
There is considerable interest in the presidential campaign in the surveyed countries. Respondents across the world express more confidence in Barack Obama than in John McCain to do the right thing regarding world affairs, including in India, where the Democrat leads the Republican 33-28. McCain is rated lower than Obama in every country surveyed, except for the United States where his rating matches Obama’s.
Obama’s advantage over McCain is overwhelming in the Western European countries surveyed: Fully 84% of the French who have been following the election say they have confidence in Obama to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared with 33% who say that about McCain. The differences in ratings for Obama and McCain are about as large in Spain and Germany, and are only somewhat narrower in Great Britain.
However, even as Indians believe they are benefiting from US economic policies, the survey shows that support for international trade continues to decline in the United States — 53 per cent of Americans say trade is good for their country, down from 59 per cent last year and 78 per cent in 2002. Support for trade is lower in the US than in any other country included in the survey.