07/13/2006 - When President George W. Bush is greeted by his host, President Vladimir Putin at this weekend's G8 summit meeting in St. Petersburg, neither leader can feel secure in the confidence placed in their leadership by the citizens of major countries around the globe. To be sure, Putin can take some comfort in the 82% level of confidence he inspired among the people of Russia in the latest Pew Global Attitudes Project survey. By comparison, Bush scored only a 51% confidence rating among those of his own countrymen who registered an opinion. But, with a few exceptions, neither man can point to substantial levels of support elsewhere in the world.
Outside of Russia, Putin scores his best confidence mark in China, where nearly three-in-four who offer an opinion say they have either "a lot" or "some" confidence in him to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Slightly less than half of the Chinese public (48%) says the same of President Bush.
And despite the long history of armed enmity between the two countries, 52% of Germans now express confidence in Putin. By contrast, only 26% of Germans place their confidence in Bush's handling of international affairs.
Among those registering an opinion, Bush finds his highest levels of support in India (62%) and in Nigeria (54%) -- the Nigerian vote owing much to the high level of confidence (86%) he inspires among Christians in that country. Putin can also point to majority -- if somewhat lower -- support in India (56%), but only a 37% rating in Nigeria.
Elsewhere in the Muslim world, neither leader scores well, with confidence in President Bush ranging downward from 21% in Indonesia through 8% in Egypt to a rock-bottom 3% in Turkey. President Putin does slightly better in Indonesia (34%) and Egypt (21%), though he too hits a low point in Turkey, with a small 12% confidence rating.
Read the full report G8 Summiteers Inspire Little Confidence Around the Globe; Leaders Earn Generally Low Marks for Dealing with World Issues on the Pew Research Center Web site.