Putin vs. Trump as Prefered Country Leader. Global Leadership Models

Gallup International’s 41st Annual Global End of Year Survey

October – December 2017

Putin leads globally over Trump as a choice for country leader, new constellations of nations are emerging

Choosing between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump over one quarter (29%) of the respondents globally declare to prefer as head of state of their own country the Russian leader. Donald Trump is preferred as country leader by 17%. Vladimir Putin is generally preferred in most of the regions except the USA. Even overall critical Europeans choosing between him and the present American President give preference to the Russian leader. In Africa, India and East Asia the two opponents score almost equal support. The survey results disclose that the American President is no longer perceived as absolute world leader.

Thinking of global political leadership, should USA keep the leading role as arguably the most powerful state in the world? Or USA and Russia should exercise global leadership together? Every forth in the world (25%) votes for parity joint leadership, while USA supreme and sole leadership is preferred by 19%. Majorities in almost all of world macro-regions declare to prefer a joint leadership of USA and Russia, except USA itself where 40% of respondents believe their country should continue as global leader alone.

Key Findings

Kancho Stoychev, President Gallup International Association (GIA):

«Just one year after Donald Trump entered the White House the world of international relations is no longer the same. While increasing the US economic and military strength President Trump is failing to attract sympathy around the world and the US global political leadership is no longer accepted among a predominant part of the world’s inhabitants.

From bi-polar world during the Cold War through US dominated world after 1989 now the World seems to be transforming to a more colorful place. Different constellations of nations (or “constenations”) are emerging in front of our eyes as an expression of new regionalization of the World – not on geographical principles but on a shared view for the future.»

Andrey Milekhin, Vice President Gallup International Association (GIA):

«The choice between these two Presidents is not an easy one and at the end the candidate “against both” won. The complexity of the choice was defined by the fact that behind Trump stands the USA economic and military power, Putin on the other hand has 25 years of political experience being one of the most long-lived and sustainable among the world political leaders. To the majority of world’s population, the conservatism and reliability of Putin seems to be more appealing.

We could say that 25 years of USA dominance didn’t result in global peace and harmony, on the contrary, gave rise to some new problems and conflicts. Multi-polarity of the World is already quite clear and obvious. In several regions there are strong leaders that distinctly claim to form the world’s overall agenda. And this is not only Russia, but China, India, Brazil and Turkey as well. With new leaders, new political ideas and coalitions we see attempts of restauration of France’s and Germany’s world influence.»


The Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association in partnership with WIN in 55 countries around the world.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 54569 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (23 countries; n=24235), via telephone (13 countries; n=12456) or online (19 countries; n=17878). The field work was conducted during October 2017 - December 2017. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.