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Postelection, United States falls in US News Best Countries ranking

Sunset over New York skyline, on the subway overground train station.
LeoPatrizi | Getty Images
Sunset over New York skyline, on the subway overground train station.

The whole world was watching the U.S. election. And for the most part, it didn't like what it saw.

More than 70 percent of survey respondents lost respect for U.S. leadership as a result of the toxic nature of the U.S. election, according to a poll conducted for the 2017 U.S. News Best Countries Rankings.

That sentiment, combined with global distaste for Donald Trump, played a role in the U.S. falling from the No. 4 Best Country to No. 7.

This story originally appeared on U.S. News & World Report. Here's more of a breakdown on country rankings:
Best countries for adventure
Best countries with cultural influence
Best countries for quality of life

If the election had been global, about 60 percent of people would have backed Hillary Clinton, according to survey of more than 21,000 people from 36 countries in all regions of the world. Support for Donald Trump was lowest in Mexico, where only 4.6 percent of people supported Trump, and South Korea, where only 8.6 percent of people backed the president. His approval ratings were also low in European countries like France, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

"Europeans look at Trump and see Berlusconi. South Americans look at Trump and see Hugo Chavez." -Jacob Parakilas, Chatham House, British think tank, assistant head

The shifting global opinions of the U.S. is no surprise to foreign policy experts.

"It's pretty clear that Donald Trump ran and was elected as a nationalist who would look out, as he put it, just for American interests, and who thought the U.S. was doing too much and was being exploited by the rest of the world," says Thomas Wright, fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. "That has made the rest of the world very nervous."

To many people outside the U.S., the election of Donald Trump represents an unpredictable and dangerous move in U.S. foreign policy, says Jacob Parakilas with the British think tank Chatham House.

"Europeans look at Trump and see Berlusconi. South Americans look at Trump and see Hugo Chavez," he says. "And I think there's some truth to that, but obviously they had smaller countries with smaller economies and militaries in their command. Their potential impact was much smaller."

Silvio Berlusconi
Federico Ferramola | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Silvio Berlusconi

The U.S. election may have had many ramifications for the U.S. brand. Aside from the overall ranking, the U.S. fell among the Best Countries for Adventure, Open for Business and Citizenship, where its scores decreased the most. The country's performance also dropped in the Best Countries for Education, the Most Transparent Countries and the Best Countries to Headquarter a Corporation.

Despite these slippages, the U.S. continues to be seen as the world's most powerful country: An economically and politically consequential nation with strong international alliances and strong military alliances. The U.S. also once again tops the list of Most Influential Countries.

Concerns about Donald Trump, and the direction of the U.S., vary by region, according to Wright. In Europe, many fear the U.S. will cut deals with Russia at its expense. In Asia, some countries wonder whether escalating tensions between the U.S. and China could have a negative impact on their security and economic growth.

But not all parts of the world reacted to Trump's victory with alarm. The real estate mogul and former reality TV star would have won the vote in Russia, where 83 percent of people supported him, and in China, where 54 percent of people did so. Trump also polled fairly well in Turkey, with 37 percent support, in Israel, with 46 percent, and in Nigeria, with 42 percent.

People walk in the street in front of Trump Towers, Istanbul on November 29, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Getty Images
People walk in the street in front of Trump Towers, Istanbul on November 29, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.

While the U.S may have suffered a dent in its global image, it's possible the damage could only be temporary, says Parakilas with Chatham House.

"Expectations for Trump are very, very low. If he manages to exceed expectations, there is a very deep reserve of basic goodwill for the U.S."

Parakilas adds that while certain American policies – or presidents – can cause negative reactions across the world, the idea of America as a defender of democracy still resonates.

People "may be sharply critical and disappointed at specific American policies, but on the whole they think this broad, gauzy concept of America is a good thing," he says.

The best five countries are:

1. Canada
2. Sweden
3. Denmark
4. Australia
5. Norway

The worst five worst countries are:

46. Angola
47. Pakistan
48. Lebanon
49. Algeria
50. Iran