Percentage of Indian Adults Who Express Confidence in Trump Quadrupled from 2016 to 2019

The percentage of Indian adults who express confidence that President Donald Trump will "do the right thing regarding world affairs" quadrupled between the years of 2016 and 2019, a new survey finds.

The U.S. president is currently on a wide-ranging, 36-hour tour of the world's largest democracy as he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the finalizing of a $3 billion arms deal between the two nations on Monday. More than 100,000 Modi supporters proudly welcomed Trump into Sardar Patel Stadium in the Gujarat state's Ahmedabad city as he touted the U.S. as India's "premiere defense partner."

Critics of Modi in India and abroad have accused the prime minister of "dehumanizing minorities," particularly the country's Muslim population, but he and Trump's friendly, ongoing relationship has led to a spike in the American president's appeal among Indian adults.

A Pew Research Center survey released February 20 found 56 percent of Indian adults are confident of Trump's decisions on the world stage and in conducting foreign diplomacy. Trump's newfound popularity among a majority of Indians is the product of three years of skyrocketing approval. After taking office in 2016, Trump only had the confidence of 14 percent of Indian adults, according to Pew. In 2017, that number rose to 40 percent.

Members of Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party are more likely than members of the Indian National Congress opposition party to express confidence in Trump, Pew notes.

Pew's Global Attitudes report partially attributes Trump's quadrupling of approval to a widespread decrease in the percentage of Indians who refuse to answer questions about the U.S. president. In 2016, two-thirds of Indians said they "don't know" or outright "refused" to answer the data agency's questions regarding their opinion of Trump. That number fell to just 30 percent in 2019.

But Trump still lags behind former President Barack Obama, who had the confidence of 58 percent of Indian adults before he left office.

And while confidence in Trump's world affairs may be rising, Indians are still largely critical of his ongoing tariffs and trade wars with other countries. About half of Indians surveyed, 48 percent, said they disapprove of Trump's increasing tariffs and fees on imported goods from foreign countries. This disapproval is echoed across party lines in India, with members of Modi's BJP being as likely as backers of the Indian National Congress to criticize Trump's trade policies.

A solid majority of Indian respondents, 62 percent, said they would pick the United States over China as the country with whom they would prefer to have a stronger economic relationship.

Trump and Modi appeared onstage together at a September rally in Houston, Texas, where around 50,000 people cheered on the pair's initial trade talks. The "Howdy, Modi!" event saw Trump refer to Modi as "one of America's greatest, most devoted and most loyal friends."

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The percentage of Indian adults who express confidence that President Donald Trump will "do the right thing regarding world affairs" quadrupled between the years of 2016 and 2019, a new survey finds. MONEY SHARMA / AFP / Contributor/Getty Images
Percentage of Indian Adults Who Express Confidence in Trump Quadrupled from 2016 to 2019 | World