Toronto, ON, November 1, 2020 – As one of the most anticipated US presidential elections enters the home stretch, the world is waiting with baited breath to see who will emerge victorious from such a bitterly fought campaign. Canadians are watching from across the border with interest, but also aren’t without their own worries for what the election result could mean for their own country. A recent Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News has found that Canadians largely think that having Joe Biden in the White House would be a better outcome for Canada than Donald Trump winning a second term. However, Canadians are also concerned about the potential for violence in the US in the event of a Trump defeat.
Many north of the border have been following the presidential election with interest. Almost 6 in 10 (58%) agree (23% strongly/35% somewhat) that they are paying close attention to the US election, with attention significantly higher among demographic groups who tend to be more tuned into politics: those with a university degree or higher (68%), Boomers (67%), and men (66%).
Biden Seen as Better Choice for Canada
Canada and the US are inextricably linked, sharing the world’s longest international land border and exchanging over a billion dollars worth of goods and services each day. As such, whatever happens on November 3 will greatly affect Canada, and Canadians have their own views as to who they think should be in the White House.
With days to go until the election, 7 in 10 (69%) agree (24% strongly/45% somewhat) that a Biden victory will be a good thing for Canada, a sentiment more strongly felt among Atlantic Canadians (77%), Quebecers (76%), and women (75%). Enthusiasm is particularly strong in British Columbia, where 4 in 10 (37%) say they strongly agree that Biden moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be a good thing for Canada.
On the other hand, 2 in 10 (22%) agree (7% strongly/15% somewhat) that a Trump victory will be a good thing for Canada. While most Canadians aren’t thrilled about the possibility of a second Trump administration, those in Alberta are torn between the two presidential candidates. Although 45% of Albertans agree (11% strongly/35% somewhat) that Biden would be good for Canada, 4 in 10 (39%) agree (13% strongly/26% somewhat) that more Trump would be a good thing.
Canada’s youngest adult generation also seems to be a little less pessimistic than others when it comes to what a second term for Trump would mean for their country. While Gen Zers generally prefer Biden, with 65% of them agreeing (24% strongly/41% somewhat) that a Biden win would be good for Canada, almost half (45%) also agree (6% strongly/38% somewhat) that a Trump victory would be a good thing (compared to 21% for Millennials, 19% for Gen Xers, and 19% for Boomers).
Looming Uneasiness Over Election Day
Going into the final days of the election, Ipsos polling has Donald Trump trailing Joe Biden both nationally and in many battleground states. Canadians think that Trump’s chances of winning a second term are slim; only one-third (32%) agree (8% strongly/24% somewhat) that Trump will win the election.
Expectations for a Trump win are strongest in Alberta, where just over half (53%) agree (14% strongly/39% somewhat) that he will overcome the odds, and weakest in Quebec, where over three-quarters (22%) agree (8% strongly/14% somewhat). Men are more likely than women to agree that Trump will be given a second term (36% for men v. 28% for women), as are Canada’s younger generations such as Gen Z (42%) and Millennials (37%) when compared to Gen X (32%) and Boomers (25%).
With Trump having signalled in the past that he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose, Canadians are worried about what might happen come Election Day in the US. Six in 10 (60%) agree (25% strongly/35% somewhat) that they are concerned about the potential for violence in the US if Trump loses. Boomers (68%) are more worried than other generations (50% for Gen Z, 59% for Millennials, and 55% for Gen X).
With a campaign marked by disorderly debates, revelations about Trump’s tax payments, a bombshell COVID-19 diagnosis, and accusations of foreign interference, the US presidential election will certainly prove to be dramatic until the very last moment.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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