More Iraqis Approved of U.S Leadership Under Bush Than Obama, Says Gallup Poll

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 31, 2010 | 10:48 AM EDT

U.S Vice President Joe Biden, left, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, right, attend a meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

( - With President Barack Obama preparing to give a speech tonight from the Oval Office announcing the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, recently released polling data from Gallup indicates that the Iraqi people approved of the job performance of the American leadership more under President George W. Bush, who invaded their country and overthrew the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, than they do under Obama, who opposed the invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly vowed to have all U.S. troop out of that country by the end of 2011.

From March 5 to June 14, 2008, when Bush was still in office, Gallup asked 1,000 Iraqi adults this question: "Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States of America?"  Thirty-five percent of Iraqis at that time said they approved of the job performance of the American leadership.

More than a year later, from Aug. 10-20, 2009, when President Obama had been in office for seven months, Gallup asked the question again. This time, only 33 percent of Iraqis said they approved of the job performance of the American leadership.

In a new polling analysis released last week, Gallup issued numbers from another survey it had conducted in Iraq from Feb. 17-27, 2010. In that survey, Gallup again asked Iraqis if they approved or disapproved of the job performance of the leadership of the United States. This time, only 30 percent said they approved of the job the American leadership was doing.

From the spring of 2008 (when President Bush was serving his last year in office) to early 2010 (when President Obama was beginning his second year) approval of U.S. leadership among Iraqis dropped by 5 points.

(To see how Iraqis rated the job performance of the U.S. leadership in 2008 and 2009 go to the map on this page of the Gallup Web site and place your cursor over Iraq. To see how Iraqis rated the job performance of the U.S. leadership in 2010, click here.)