More than a year after the election of Donald Trump, the median global approval rate for United States leadership stands at 30 percent – the lowest compared to recent administrations, according to Gallup, and down 18 points from 2016.
But there are two small countries that are an odd exception to the near-universal consensus on Trump’s unpopularity. According to a Gallup poll conducted in 134 countries, the approval rating for US leadership under the Trump administration in two Western-Balkan nations is the highest in the world — 75 percent in Kosovo and 72 percent in Albania.
Trump is scoring higher in these two nations than in the reddest state of the United States. Gallup found that 61 percent of West Virginians approve of Trump’s performance, well below both Kosovo and Albania.
Albanians and Kosovars’ high regard for the United States stems in part from the 20-year-old bombing campaign the U.S. led against the Serbian military, which was carrying out an ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars. Albanians see the U.S. as the first to stand up for the people of the Kosovo region – when it was still part of Yugoslavia – preventing an even larger human tragedy. Decades later, Albanians still broadly consider the U.S. initiative to bomb the Yugoslav forces with its NATO allies as a clear sign of support.
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