Eike Mark Rinke, Lars Willnat, Thorsten Quandt
The Obama factor: Change and stability in cultural and political anti-Americanism

International Journal of Communication, 2015: 9, pp. 2954–2979
ISSN: 1932-8036 (online)

Global public opinion toward the United States is an important factor in international politics. But to what degree are distinct dimensions of attitudes toward the United States associated with the person of the president and the consumption of U.S.-produced media content? Two surveys of German college students before and after the 2008 U.S. presidential election revealed that attitudes toward U.S. foreign policies improved from 2008 to 2009, and views on U.S. culture remained stable. Perceptions of Obama depended less on attitudes toward U.S. culture than perceptions of ordinary U.S. Americans, indicating a potential for the president to influence foreign political support, even in the face of cultural reservations. Consumption of some types of U.S. media was also associated with lower levels of anti-Americanism.