Top 5 Countries Souring on American Leadership

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With a burdensome debt crisis and resurgent emigration problem, one can forgive Ireland's dour mood in recent years. What, however, explains the country's 17-point dip in U.S. approval between 2009 and 2010? How does one, moreover, account for a 57-point increase in approval for America's leadership between 2008 and 2009? First, some historical context may be helpful. In early 2009, much of the world was overflowing with praise for the 2008 election of Barack Obama - an election that would, many hoped, mark a departure from a decade of American intervention and adventurism abroad. Ireland certainly wasn't immune to this hope bug, with one Irish town even staking a claim to the then-senator's lineage. Indeed, the Irish overwhelmingly preferred Obama to Senator John McCain in 2008, and while overall approval for America's role in the world remains high, we're perhaps witnessing the return to Earth of Obama's meteoric popularity. Global Top 5s is a monthly feature by powered by Gallup's worldwide research. Learn more at

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