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President Obama may be slumping at home, but he's surging in Europe

The US president's approval rating in Europe is 86 percent, even as he faces assaults from the right at home. But can he use that to advance his policy goals?

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Europeans really like President Barack Obama. Everyone knew that. What they didn't know was exactly how much – until now.

A German Marshall Fund (GMF) survey reports a record 86 percent of Europeans agree with Mr. Obama's policies – a dizzying jump from 19 percent for President George Bush. In Germany, where mega-crowds gathered to hear him speak during the 2008 election campaign, Obama is at 92 percent, an 80-point pole vault over Mr. Bush's last rating.

The American leader does not enjoy such approval in his own country, in \a summer of health care debates and GOP-led town halls. Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll this Wednesday found 48 percent of Americans approve of Obama's performance.

The annual transatlantic survey took place in June; fund officials were unsure what they would find. The results were "eye-popping," in the words of Ronald Asmus, director of the GMF in Brussels.

"We heard about an Obama bounce," says Zsolt Nyiri, who worked on the numbers at the Fund's Washington office. "But the size surprised us. You hardly ever see change like this in public opinion data, coming overnight."

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