President Donald Trump smiles during a Latinos for Trump Coalition roundtable at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. A new poll suggests Donald Trump has dragged Canadians’ views of the United States to their lowest level in nearly 20 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andrew Harnik

President Donald Trump smiles during a Latinos for Trump Coalition roundtable at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. A new poll suggests Donald Trump has dragged Canadians’ views of the United States to their lowest level in nearly 20 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Andrew Harnik

Canada’s impression of U.S. reaches lowest level in nearly 20 years: new Pew poll

Donald Trump was ranked below even Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping on world affairs

Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have dragged Canadians’ view of the United States to its lowest level in nearly 20 years, a new poll suggests.

The Pew Research Center report released Tuesday finds a favourable view of the U.S. among only 35 per cent of Canadians surveyed, the lowest level recorded since Pew began polling north of the Canada-U. S. border in 2002.

The finding tracks an identical trend among all 13 countries involved in the poll — record lows were also recorded in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and Australia.

“Overall, what we see in Canada fits in with the broader pattern of what we see with a number of these other key allies and partners,” said Richard Wike, Pew’s director of global attitudes research.

“It’s really reactions to American policies that have been a key driver of what people in Canada and elsewhere think of the United States.”

As for Trump himself, only 20 per cent of the poll’s 1,037 Canadian respondents expressed confidence in the president, the lowest rating Pew has ever recorded in Canada and a precipitous drop from the 83 per cent support for Barack Obama they found in 2016.

While past polls have shown a preoccupation with Trump’s personal attributes, the policies pursued by his administration during a tumultuous first term have coloured perceptions as well, Wike said.

In 2017, “people said he was intolerant, they said he wasn’t well-qualified, they said he was arrogant, they said he was dangerous,” he said.

Now, signature policies like pulling out of the Paris climate accord, abandoning trade agreements and fomenting bilateral tensions, building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and restricting immigration are also being reflected in the data.

“When the U.S. withdraws from international commitments, that’s something that’s often frowned upon by foreign publics,” Wike said.

“When the U.S. builds walls between itself and the rest of the world whether that’s a literal wall on the border with Mexico, or maybe a figurative wall, in a way, in terms of making it difficult for people to immigrate to the United States, those kind of things are also driving these negative views.”

ALSO READ: 57% of Canadians say they’ve relaxed COVID-19 safety measures: poll

When compared to a handful of other world leaders on the question of handling of world affairs, respondents to the poll ranked Trump at the very bottom, below even Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.

Driving the numbers is Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was panned in every country surveyed including Canada, where it gets a passing grade from only 16 per cent of respondents.

“In no country surveyed do more than a fifth think the U.S. has done at least a somewhat good job dealing with the virus, and a median of only 15 per cent across the 13 countries polled consider the country’s handling of the virus to be effective,” the centre said.

Out of the 83 per cent of Canadian participants unimpressed with the U.S. response, 57 per cent rated it as “very bad” and 26 per cent as “somewhat bad.”

“In every country surveyed, roughly eight-in-ten or more say the U.S. has handled the virus badly. And, in 11 of the 13 countries surveyed, half or more say the U.S. has done a very bad job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.”

The Canadian portion of the poll was conducted by telephone between June 15 and July 27, and carries a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Pew acknowledged in the survey that the racial tensions and public fury over the police killing of George Floyd, whose death in May on a Minneapolis street with an officer’s knee on his neck triggered a tidal wave of outrage that washed over the world throughout the summer, could have affected the results as well.

The centre conducted a separate survey on 2020s global reckoning on race during the same period it was gathering data on international impressions of the United States. That study examined how Black Lives Matter was reflected in the social media feeds of lawmakers and legislators in four countries, including Canada.

About 44 per cent of Canadian members of Parliament tweeted references to Floyd and Black Lives Matter during the period of the latest survey was conducted, the centre said.

“Concerns about racial injustice fit into a broader pattern of decline in the belief that the U.S. government respects the personal freedoms of its people.”

James McCarten, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CanadaCoronavirusDonald TrumpUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP responded to a report early Friday morning of a suspect firing a gun at a Salmo home. Photo: Black Press
RCMP arrest woman who fired shots at Salmo home

The woman allegedly discharged a firearm early Friday morning

Nelson is holding a municipal by-election to replace former councillor Brittny Anderson, who resigned in December. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson by-election nomination deadlines set

Candidacies must be registered between Feb. 9 and Feb. 19

Summit Ski Hill had a delayed start to the season because of warm temperatures. Photo: Summit Ski Hill
Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill

Summit Ski Hill only just opened Jan. 14

Four friends were heading to their home on Highway 6 just south of Silverton on the evening of Dec. 25, 2020, when the people in the front of the vehicle saw what looked like a “huge, man-like figure” on the side of the road. (Pixabay.com)
Possible Bigfoot sighting shocks, excites Silverton residents

‘I didn’t see the creature myself, I saw the prints’

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read