WASHINGTON - A Gallup poll found that Americans are feeling more favorably toward several of the United States' major allies in 2012 than they have in the past.
This year's ratings for Canada (96%), Australia (93%), Germany (86%), Japan (83%), and India (75%) are all record highs for those countries in Gallup trends that stretch back at least a decade.
The survey found Great Britain
(90%), France (75%), and Israel
(71%) rated near their all-time highs.
Israel was ranked eighth on Gallup's list of Americans' favored countries.
is the least well-regarded country measured this year, with 10% of Americans viewing it favorably and 87% unfavorably.
Americans' favorable ratings of Iran have been consistently low since Gallup's first measurement with this question in 1989, mostly registering around 10% but with a range from 5% (in 1989) to 17% (in 2004).
According to the poll, only one country this year - China - suffered a real decline among Americans, with its favorable rating falling from 47% in 2011 to 41%.
"In a year when America continues to be faced with political and economic foreign policy challenges around the world, Americans are feeling warmer than ever toward several of the United States' long-standing allies, including Canada, Australia, Germany, India, and Japan, while maintaining high views of Great Britain, France,
and Israel," Gallup's website said.
More generally, the survey showed, nearly all of the countries that garner majority unfavorable ratings are located in the Mideast or in Asian countries outside of that region.
rating recovered somewhat to 47%, after slipping to 40% in 2011 from 58% in 2010.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's rating has increased to 42% from 37% a year ago and is the highest for that country since February 2001, when it was 47%.
Surprisingly, Cuba's favorable rating rose to a new high of 37%, placing it well ahead of Libya (25%), Iraq (24%), the Palestinian Authority (19%) and Syria
Countries appearing at the bottom of the favorability list include Pakistan (15%), Afghanistan (14%) and North Korea (13%).