The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi may be one of the most popular leaders in his country in recent decades, but he is far less well-known in the US. And among those Americans who have heard of him, he doesn’t inspire much confidence, according to the results of a new Pew survey.
The survey, which polled 3,576 people between March 20-26, showed that 40% of adult Americans have never heard of Modi, who is now serving his second term as the leader of the world’s largest democracy.
Younger Americans are less likely to know Modi’s name. In the 18-29 age group, 59% of respondents said they’d never heard of Modi, compared with 28% of those 65 and older. “Among Republicans and Democrats alike, pluralities say they have not heard of Modi,” Pew said in a report published yesterday (April 17).
Nearly every American knows Vladimir Putin’s name
The Pew survey revealed the deepest familiarity with Vladimir Putin; only 3% of respondents said they didn’t know his name. Putin also elicited the most mistrust. More than 70% of respondents said they had no confidence at all in the Russian leader.
“More than half of US adults (56%) have at least some confidence in [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelenskyy to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” the report said. “By comparison, fewer than one-in-ten have confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping (8%) or...Putin (7%).”
For Modi, who had a 76% approval rating in India according to another report published earlier this month, the Pew survey figure among Americans for “doing the right thing” stood at a measly 1%. Up to “37% have little or no confidence in his ability to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” the report said. And in a bipartisan outcome, Pew found that Republicans and Democrats concurred nearly precisely (21% and 22% respectively) in expressing confidence in Modi—the closest such outcome among all the leaders surveyed.