WASHINGTON—Americans of all political stripes still like Canada. But Democrats are currently much fonder than Republicans, a new poll has found.
In a Pew Research survey in August, 63 per cent of Democrats said their feelings toward Canada were “very warm.” Just 39 per cent of Republicans said the same.
Eleven per cent of Democrats said they were somewhat warm toward Canada, while 20 per cent of Republicans said the same. On the whole then, 74 per cent of Democrats were favourably disposed toward Canada, compared to 59 per cent of Republicans.
Twenty-six per cent of Democrats said they were either neutral (16 per cent) or cold (10 per cent) toward Canada. For Republicans, that number was 41 per cent: 26 per cent neutral, 15 per cent cold.
Pew did not ask the same question prior to the Trump era, so we cannot be certain if anything has changed in the wake of the president’s frequent 2018 criticism of Canada’s trade policies and of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 24-point partisan divide Pew found in strong positive feelings about Canada, however, appears at least somewhat larger than usual.
According to Tim Gravelle, a University of Melbourne lecturer and public opinion expert who has studied the issue, during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama eras, “Democrats still tended to be five to 20 percentage points more likely to hold a ‘very favourable’ opinion of Canada, with Republicans more likely to hold a ‘somewhat favourable’ opinion.”