A large majority of Canadians think Hillary Clinton is the better choice to be the new president of the United States, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News.
When asked who was the better choice on each of a dozen policy issues, a majority of Canadians always chose Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over her Republican rival, Donald Trump. Seventy-six per cent of Canadians think Clinton is the best choice for the United States, and even more, 82 per cent, believe she would be better for Canada.
These results don’t surprise Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs. In the 26 years he’s been conducting U.S. election-related polls, he said, “I’ve never seen a Republican winning in Canada.”
If Canadians voted in U.S. elections, they’d vote like Massachusetts, he said.
But Trump finds some support in certain policy areas. Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians think he would better lead the war on terror than Clinton, 35 per cent believe he would make things better in Washington and 32 believe he would be a better fiscal manager than Clinton.
“I think people sort of look at his business background and say maybe that qualifies him a little better for that kind of thing,” said Bricker. And when it comes to fighting terrorism, “I think he’s been pretty good even in a cross-border way at attacking the record that [Clinton]’s affiliated with in terms of foreign policy.”
Men for Trump
Trump is especially popular among men, according to the poll. They’re twice as likely to think that Trump would be the better candidate for the U.S., better lead the war on terror, have a better economic policy and think that he would be a better world leader – though in all cases, a majority of men still picked Clinton as their top choice.
“It’s just because those two issues, terrorism and the more economic-type issues, tend to rank higher in terms of their level of priority in terms of what are the most important issues that any political leader should be dealing with,” said Bricker.
But it’s not just men’s policy preferences – women also “really hate” Trump, he said.
Trump support is also highest in the Prairies, with nearly half of respondents in the Prairie provinces believing that he would be better at making things happen in Washington. Fifty-one per cent of Albertans also believe that Trump would be better at leading the war on terror.
Again, this is because of how these people rank certain issues, said Bricker.
“They tend to be tougher on military issues,” he said. “If he was going to be popular anywhere, it would be there.”
Although they’re not voting, Canadians have a lot at stake in the U.S. election. To take one issue, 76 per cent of Canadian exports went to the U.S. in 2015, according to Statistics Canada. And while 36 per cent of Canadians don’t support NAFTA according to the poll, Bricker said that this is actually much higher support for the free trade agreement than there used to be.
“Most Canadians don’t support pulling out of NAFTA, whereas if I asked this question back in 1992, it was in the 70s for pulling out.”
Most Canadians want trade to keep flowing across the border, he said, and they’re not sure what would happen if Trump gets elected, he said.
“I think people will be shocked. I don’t know that people have really prepared for the idea of a President Trump.”
If the U.S. voted for Trump, it would highlight the differences between Canada and the United States, he said, but it wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. elected a leader that Canadians didn’t understand: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were very unpopular in Canada, he thinks.
It goes both ways too.
“Bill Clinton was far more popular here in Canada than he was in the United States. Barack Obama is overwhelmingly more popular in Canada than he is in the United States.”
Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.”
This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,007 Canadians conducted between Oct. 28-31. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.