Survey: ‘Thumbs Down’ for Obama Reelection in Mostly Muslim Countries

By Penny Starr | June 13, 2012 | 6:01 PM EDT

Andrew Kohut, president of Pew Research Center, spoke on June 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. about a survey on global views of the United States and President Barack Obama. ( Starr)

( – Most people in predominantly Muslim countries do not want to see President Barack Obama reelected in November, according to the findings of a global survey by the Pew Research Center.

“The only places were we see real disapproval or thumbs down to Obama winning reelection is in the Muslim countries,” Andrew Kohut, president of the center, said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Wednesday to mark the release of the Pew Global Attitudes Project report.

The survey involved interviews with more than 26,000 people in 21 countries, including the United States.

Asked, “Would you like U.S. President Barack Obama to be reelected or not?” only seven percent of Pakistani respondents replied “yes” while 49 percent said “no” and 44 percent were put down as “don’t know or refused to answer.”

The negative response was even bigger in Egypt and Jordan, where 76 percent and 73 percent of respondents respectively replied “no” to that question (Egypt: 18 percent “yes,” Jordan: 22 percent “yes”).

In Lebanon, 27 percent said “yes” and 62 percent replied “no,” while in Tunisia, 37 percent said “yes” and 38 percent “no.”

Turkey was the exception among Muslim countries surveyed: 39 percent of respondents said “yes,” and 30 percent said “no.”

President Obama delivers a speech “to the Muslim world” in Cairo on Thursday, June 4, 2009. The new Pew survey found lower levels of support for his reelection in Muslim countries. (AP Photo)

In other parts of the world, Obama’s re-election generally found majority support in European countries – with the biggest backing seen in France and Germany and the smallest in Greece and Poland.

In Asia, Obama’s re-election found significant support in Japan (66 percent “yes,” 25 percent “no”), somewhat less in India (38 percent “yes,” 18 percent “no”), and even less in China (31 percent “yes,” 39 percent “no”).

In Latin America, Brazilians want Obama re-elected by a margin of 72 to 16, but 43 percent of Mexican respondents don’t want to see him in the White House next year, compared to 35 percent who do.

“When we asked people about reelection of Barack Obama we find large percentages of Europeans – majorities in just about every country save Greece – saying they’d like to see Obama reelected,” Kohut said. “We find most Brazilians and Japanese agreeing.”

The results on Obama’s reelection from respondents in the U.S. were 49 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed. Ten percent did not know or refused to answer.

According to the survey, Obama’s approval ratings based on his international policies have also slipped, in Europe and even more so in Muslim countries.

Across European countries surveyed, the approval rating for Obama’s international policies dropped from 78 percent in 2009 to 63 percent in 2012. In predominantly Muslim countries approval ratings on international policies is down from 34 to 15 percent over that period.

Kohut said the rating decline was influenced by Obama’s policy of using unmanned drones to target militants and the perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally.