Americans like Angela Merkel, Germans loathe Trump

ANI | Updated: Mar 01, 2018 04:44 IST

Berlin [Germany], Mar 1 (ANI): The US and Germany, which share many mutual bonds and differences, have revealed one main reason for their differences in perception of US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Markel, a study has said.

Trump's approval rating at home may not be much to boast about, but in Germany it is even dreadful as a mere 11 percent Germans participating in the pole expressed "confidence in the US President", confirming the results of other public-opinion studies.

The poll result immediately dragged the percentage of Germans who had a favourable view of the US down from 57 percent in 2016 to 35 percent after Trump's election as US President in January 2017.

"Often how people feel about the American President has a big impact on how they feel about the US," study co-author Richard Wike told Deutsche Welle.

At least 64 percent of American Democrats say they have confidence in Merkel to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Despite the fact that the chancellor has never concealed her scepticism, if not aversion concerning Trump, even 50 percent of Republicans approved of her.

Interestingly, Merkel's popularity in the US has been steadily growing, perhaps reflecting her increasing presence as a veteran leader on the world stage.

"She's becoming better known," Wike said. "Even five years ago we were getting close to a third of Americans who didn't have an opinion about her."

He added that in 2017 only 14 percent of Americans had no opinion on Merkel.

If anything, Merkel is slightly more popular in the US than in Germany, where cracks have begun to appear in her former Teflon-like invulnerability.

In the most recent public opinion poll, only 48 percent of Germans said they would vote for Merkel if they could elect their chancellor directly. Still, she remains among Germany's most popular politicians.

Trump may be often dismissive and disinterested where other countries are concerned, but Americans across the political spectrum are positively inclined toward Germany, DW News reported.

Some 72 percent of Democrats said the US should cooperate more closely with Germany - compared with 67 percent of Independents and 59 percent of Republicans.

Germany and the US are like a badly communicating couple, where one partner is planning a joint future while the other is googling divorce attorneys, shows the study about German-American relations conducted by the Pew Research Centre in the US with the help of Korber Foundation in Germany.

After interviewing more than 4,500 people in both the countries, researchers found that 68 percent of Americans thought US-German relations were good and only 22 percent suggested they were bad.

In a striking contrast, 56 percent of respondents in Germany think US-German relations are bad whereas 42 said they are good.

Both the groups stressed the importance of "economic and trade ties", 34 percent of Americans identified "security and defence" as a major point of common ground, while 35 percent Germans singled out "shared democratic values".

Former President Barack Obama, however, enjoyed approval ratings between 71 and 93 percent among Germans, the majority feeling confident about the US for all of Obama's eight-year tenure.

It is no secret that Germans prefer Democratic to Republican presidents, and Trump's numbers are not without parallel.

In 2008, only 14 percent of Germans approved of George W. Bush, and German confidence in America (31 percent) was lower than today. Bush's popularity low, however, came late, while opposition to Trump was immediate.

"The numbers we're seeing for Trump in Germany look a lot like the ones at the end of the Bush administration," Wike said.

About 72 percent of Democrats said the US should cooperate more closely with Germany - compared with 67 percent of independents and 59 percent of Republicans.

The numbers trend differently, if still positively, on the question of whether US-German relations are good. Whereas 80 percent of Republicans believe they are, only 66 percent of Democrats and independents share that view.

Interestingly an identical proportion of Germans and Americans, 39 percent, said the other side should do more to help solve global problems.(ANI)