Poll: Egyptians Still Aren't Crazy About the U.S. or Obama

A study shows that while the revolution changed a lot of things in the country, attitudes toward us barely budged.

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egyptdemonstration
A postrevolution Egyptian protest (AFP/Getty Images)

A study from the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, conducted March 24 to April 7 in face-to-face interviews of 1,000 Egyptians, found that they overwhelmingly believe it's good that former President Hosni Mubarak is gone. 

Most people who watched the coverage of the demonstrations and celebrations in the country could have predicted that. But what about opinions on the relationship between Egypt and the U.S.?

Findings on that question show we haven't gained much ground in the country. Favorable ratings of the U.S. remain as low as they have been in recent years, and many Egyptians aren't impressed with Obama and say that they want a less close relationship with America.

Some of the study's results:

Only 20% of Egyptians hold a favorable opinion of the United States, which is nearly identical to the 17% who rated it favorably in 2010. Better educated and younger Egyptians have a slightly more positive attitude toward the U.S. than do other Egyptians.

Ratings for Barack Obama are also basically unchanged from last year -- currently, 35% of Egyptians express confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs, compared with 33% in 2010.

Obama gets more negative than positive reviews for how he is handling the political changes sweeping through the Middle East: 52% disapprove of how Obama is dealing with the calls for political change in nations such as Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Libya. A plurality of those who disapprove say Obama has shown too little support for those who are calling for change.

When asked specifically about the U.S. response to the political situation in Egypt, 39% say the U.S. has had a negative impact, while just 22% say it has had a positive effect, and 35% volunteer that the U.S. has neither positively nor negatively influenced the situation in their country.

Looking to the future, few Egyptians (15%) want closer ties with the U.S., while 43% would prefer a more distant relationship, and 40% would like the relationship between the two countries to remain about as close as it has been in recent years.

Read more from Pew Research Center.

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