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

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Brent Clancy, president of the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce, takes down the signs at the Lake Cowichan Visitor Centre, which closed its doors for good on Jan. 31. Mayor Bob Day says the possible creation of a Town tourism committee is not a response to the closure. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Town of Lake Cowichan looking to form tourism and housing committees

Decision not related to the Lake Cowichan Visitor Information Centre closure

“Representing the school district, legion, and Kaatza Station Museum left to right are Georgie Clark of the museum, Wilma Rowbottom of School District #66 and Ernie Spencer, representing the Legion. The museum and Legion, along with the Village will each take a piece of the old wood shop.” (The Lake News)
Lake Flashback: Soapboxes, woodshop split, taxes down

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Rules around bicycle lanes

The lane is often painted green to distinguish it from lanes intended for motor vehicles.

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Most Read