French President Emmanuel Macron beat out President Donald Trump in a new poll of the world’s most popular leaders.
The poll released Tuesday listed Macron as the leader of the pack, with a 45 percent approval rating, and Brazilian President Michel Temer as the most unpopular leader, at 3 percent.
Trump came in second place with 37 percent in the poll compiled by the Eurasia Group, a global political risk consultant agency, in its Signal newsletter. The president has the lowest approval rating of any president in U.S. history, and experts say it’s his own fault.
“Trump’s political strategy of playing to the core of his base means that almost by definition his popularity can never rise to a certain extent,” Alexander Kliment, director of research of Eurasia group, told Newsweek. “He is placing a natural ceiling on his own potential popularity.”
Macron’s approval numbers have been dropping since his election in May. Like Trump, Macron’s ratings are lower than previous French presidents’. A YouGov poll found that Macron’s approval rating fell to 36 percent soon after his election.
Experts attribute the French people’s sudden change of heart toward their president to Macron’s lack of experience and his cuts to the military budget.
“Macron was decidedly much easier to be loved as an opponent of Marine Le Pen,” Kliment said.
None of the world leaders are as disliked as Brazil’s Michel Temer, who rose to power after the impeachment of Brazil’s former president, Dilma Rousseff. Brazilian authorities charged Temer with corruption in June for allegedly accepting a $152,000 bribe. The scandal plummeted the country’s financial market and led to widespread protests. At the time, the president’s approval rating was only 7 percent.
The new poll lists Brazil’s president even lower. With Temer’s term up in 2018, his numbers could dip further.
Some say the same could happen for Trump, who Kliment said appears only to be targeting the hard-core conservative base of the Republican Party.
Trump’s politics are not only shaping his global approval rating: They are damaging the image of the U.S. on the world stage. In June, the Pew Research Center found a sharp decline in the global perception of the U.S. under Trump, at 49 percent approval, down from 64 percent with Obama.
Trump’s politics have even helped lower the approval rating of Mexico’s leader, Enrique Peña Nieto. “He has been seen as a total weakling in the face of Trump’s attacks,” Kliment said.
The Eurasia Group excluded Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the poll. Kliment said some leaders did not have sufficiently recent data.