LPS-ASPR Poll on U.S. Views About Canada

More Americans have a favorable view of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau than they do of President Donald Trump, and if Trudeau showed up with a bottle of maple syrup they’d be even more supportive. 

Those are the findings of a new Lincoln Park Strategies/ASPR Poll taken as America’s neighbor to the north is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary, set to occur on July 1, recognizes the historic day 150 years ago that unified three of the country’s provinces.

The survey of 1,000 Americans found a net-favorable rating (favorable minus unfavorable) of 11 percent for Trudeau, while Trump’s score was minus 12 percent. But those feelings aren’t enough to get a majority of Americans to pack their bags. Still, 39 percent of Americans would be open to moving across the border, including 6 percent who have thought about moving since November.

Meanwhile, 79 percent of Americans like maple syrup, which beat out hockey (49 percent) and Canadian beer (39 percent). However, Americans don’t seem to want to hear any celebrity Canadians sing “Happy Birthday.” Famous singers from Canada, such as Justin Bieber and Drake, have the highest unfavorable percentage (27 percent) in the part of the poll that asked about people and things Canada is known for. Additionally, the U.S. says it can live without poutine; 14 percent of Americans don’t like poutine, their neighbor’s unique mixture of fries, cheese curds and gravy, and 41 percent have never heard of it.

The poll also asked respondents where they would visit in Canada to celebrate the special anniversary. Toronto (22 percent) and Niagara Falls Canada (21 percent) came out on top, followed by Vancouver (16 percent) and Montreal (14 percent). Only 2 percent say they’d want to visit the country’s capital of Ottawa, and Halifax and Winnipeg garnered a mere 1 percent each.

Just a bit more than half of Americans (51 percent) say they have been to Canada, but for most it was more than five years ago (31 percent).

“Growing up in the hockey town of Boston, I was a little surprised to see that only half of Americans like hockey, but I was shocked at the lack of love for poutine. American’s don’t know what they are missing,” says Stefan Hankin, president, Lincoln Park Strategies, a D.C.-based analytic research firm. “Regardless of our lack of taste, we wish congratulations to all Canadians on this special anniversary.”

“Listening to and understanding where the public stands on any issue, including its thoughts about Justin Bieber, are an important part of the public affairs tradition that both countries share,” says Adam Shapiro, CEO/president, ASPR, a public relations firm based in D.C., that has represented Canadian clients. “The important thing to remember is that our bilateral friendship has persisted through the years, and perhaps our mutual love of maple syrup has helped us stick together.”

The representative poll was conducted online June 10–14, 2017. The Bayesian confidence interval for 1,000 interviews is 3.5, which is roughly equivalent to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 at the 95 percent confidence level.