Germany is the most admired country in the world for the third year running, leaving the US in a tight battle for distant second place with China and Russia, according to a new global leadership poll. The annual poll, conducted by Gallup, casts more doubt on US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s claim on Friday that the US was “perfectly positioned” to lead the free world in a new ideological rivalry with the Chinese Communist Party.
The US had a 33% global approval rating for 2019, just one percentage point ahead of China and 3% ahead of Russia. Germany outshines all three by a long stretch, with a 44% rating. These were the only four countries respondents were asked about.
The survey of a thousand adults in each of 135 countries was carried out around the world in 2019, before coronavirus struck. Washington’s global standing could suffer even further in light of its mismanagement of the pandemic, which has left the US as one of the worst hotspots for the disease. Donald Trump has frequently claimed that he has made the US respected again in the world, but the poll figures suggest the opposite. The US was the most admired country in the world for every year of the Obama administration except one (when it came a close second to Germany in 2011), but then its popularity plummeted 18 percentage points after Trump’s took office, recovering marginally after that at just over 30%.
“When you read the latest results in this report on how the world rates the leadership of major global powers, the leaders who presented the case for the most certainty did the best,” said Gallup’s editor-in-chief, Mohamed Younis. “Longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel, loved or hated, has been one of the most predictable leaders in highly uncertain times in both Europe and the global order.”