The US is seen as the world's leading economic power by 22 countries in the survey. Yet in 11 countries, more think China will replace the US as the world's dominant superpower or has already done so than predict that will never happen.
The poll also found:
-- Sixty percent or more had favorable views of the US in South Korea, Poland, India, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa. One in five or fewer had positive impressions in Egypt, Argentina, Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey.
-- Nine in 10 in South Korea and Lebanon say their economies are in bad shape, while eight in 10 Chinese, seven in 10 Australians and six in 10 Indians say theirs are strong.
-- Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lost the Democratic nomination to Obama, generally was rated higher than McCain overseas but lower than Obama.
-- There is growing pessimism that a stable democratic government will take hold in Iraq, with majorities only in Nigeria, India and Tanzania predicting success.
-- Only in the US, Britain and Australia do most want US and NATO forces to say in Afghanistan.
-- Iran is viewed mostly negatively. Even the eight countries in the survey with large Muslim populations have mixed views. In six of those eight, Muslims oppose Iran getting nuclear weapons.
The polling was conducted from March 17-April 21, mostly in April, interviewing adults face to face in 17 countries and by telephone in the remaining seven. Local languages were used.
The number interviewed in each country ranged from 700 in Australia to 3,212 in China. All samples were national except for China, Pakistan, India and Brazil, where the samples were mostly urban. The margins of sampling error were plus or minus 3 percentage points or 4 points in every country but China and India, where it was 2 points.