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Global Image Of U.S. Leadership Improves

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Worldwide opinions of U.S. leadership rebounded in 2013 after taking a dip in 2012, according to a survey released Thursday by Gallup.

The poll, which surveyed adults in 130 countries, found that 46 percent of global respondents approved of the job performance of U.S. leadership, while 24 percent disapproved. The results represent an uptick in support for American leadership from the previous year, when only 41 percent of respondents approved.

The survey noted that global attitudes towards the U.S. are closely tied to each country’s opinions of President Barack Obama.

The two continents that registered the highest gains in approval of U.S. leadership were Asia and Europe, with the former reaching a new high. Opinions in the Americas largely remained at 2012 levels. Opinions among African countries fell six points, with Gallup's Julie Ray noting that “[g]iven Obama’s Kenyan heritage, many Africans likely expected Obama to pay more attention to Africa than they perceive he has.” Still, opinions in Africa of U.S. leadership are stronger than those registered on any other continent.

Gallup’s findings of favorable attitudes towards the U.S. are generally consistent with Pew’s Global Indicators Database, which found most of the countries surveyed to have a favorable opinion of the U.S.

Gallup’s results were gathered from face-to-face and telephone interviews conducted with approximately 1,000 adults in 130 countries each from 2012 and 2013.

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