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ALM Special

Al-Monitor/Premise poll finds Biden's unpopularity in Mideast makes room for China, Russia to outshine US

Washington’s influence remains potent despite its perceived disengagement from the Middle East, but Russia and China are eagerly finding gaps to fill.
(L-R) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi wave hands during the group photo session, a head of the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries, on the sideline of the 2017 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, southeastern China's Fujian Province on Sept. 5, 2017.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently more than twice as popular as US President Joe Biden in key Middle Eastern countries, according to a new Al-Monitor/Premise poll, offering a view of how America’s beleaguered brand is suffering amid outrage over Washington’s support for Israel’s devastating Gaza offensive, particularly in Egypt.

That said, a multitude of factors could be influencing opinions, and our survey results paint a complicated picture of public attitudes around great power competition in the Middle East and their implications for their future political and economic ties as well as opportunities and challenges for multinationals. 

The Global Politics Survey, which polled 2,670 respondents across Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia and Turkey, was conducted by Al-Monitor in partnership with data and analytics firm Premise between March 4 and March 22, 2024. When asked which world leader respondents view most favorably between Putin, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a plurality of 44.4% chose Russia’s leader, compared to 21.7% for America’s commander in chief. For context, an October 2023 poll by the Arab American Institute found Biden’s support among Arab American voters had fallen from 59% in 2020 to just 17%.

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