The results are based on Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 6-9. Although opinions about a president’s perceived world standing often track with his job approval rating, a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now. Thus, the recent decline may be more tied to specific international matters from the past year, such as the revelation the U.S. was listening in on foreign leaders’ phone calls, the situation in Syria, increased tensions with Russia, and an uneasy relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Though the current data represent a personal low for Obama, they are not the lowest Gallup has measured since the question was first asked in 1994. That was reached in 2007, when 21% of Americans thought world leaders respected President George W. Bush. President Bill Clinton’s ratings in 1994 and 2000 were similar to Obama’s current ratings.