Two term Trump? Half expect the President to be re-elected in 2020, most say it would be bad for Canada

Two term Trump? Half expect the President to be re-elected in 2020, most say it would be bad for Canada

One-in-six (17%) hold positive view of the administration, 69 per cent say their view is negative

July 30, 2019 – The marathon that is the United States’ presidential campaign is off and running, well ahead of a November 2020 vote to determine the next leader of the free world.

While Democrats prepare for the second round of debates, a new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians discouraged and resigned over the prospect of the current president’s re-election.

As has been the case since he took the oath of office in 2017, Canadians are overwhelmingly negative when it comes to U.S. President Donald Trump and his team at the White House. Seven-in-ten (69%) say they have an overall negative opinion of his administration’s performance since January 2017 when he assumed office, and 72 per cent say they are pessimistic about what the next year and a half will bring ahead of the 2020 election.

If, indeed, Trump is re-elected, two-thirds (67%) say it will have a negative impact on Canada, eight times more than those who say it will be positive. The two nations have engaged in tense trade negotiations since Trump’s election, while Prime Minister Trudeau has been the target of both condemnation and praise from the brash U.S. leader.

More Key Findings:

  • Men continue to be more supportive of the Trump presidency than women, though their enthusiasm is relatively tepid. One-quarter of men (23%) have a positive view of the administration so far compared to just one-in-ten women (11%). Middle aged men, those 35 to 54 years of age, are most positive, while women under 35 are most negative
  • Quebec, Atlantic and B.C. residents are most concerned that a win for the Republican leader would be negative for Canada, while Albertans are most likely to say such a result would be positive
  • The percentage of Canadians who are optimistic and hopeful about the Trump presidency has remained consistent since February of 2017, at approximately three-in-ten. Seven-in-ten (72%) say they are currently pessimistic and worried about the remainder of the president’s first term


About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.



  • Canadians negative about administration’s performance

  • Few have hope for rest of term

  • Most say another win for President would hurt Canada

  • Four more years of Trump?


Canadians negative about administration’s performance

As has been the case since the beginning of the Trump administration, Canadians are overwhelmingly negative when they consider how his team has performed. The proportion of those saying their impression is “very negative” remains a firm majority, at 56 per cent, compared to 54 per cent in December of 2017. Overall, seven-in-ten (69%) say their impression is more negative than positive:

While both men and women are considerably more negative than positive when they think about more than two years of Trump, it is worth noting that men are twice as likely as women to view the president positively (23% to 11% overall, climbing to 28% among middle-aged males):

There is one group of Canadians who are more positive than negative when it comes to the Trump administration – past Conservatives. Those who supported the CPC in 2015 are slightly more likely to say they have a positive impression (42%) than negative (35%), while supporters of the other major parties are near-unanimously negative:

Few have hope for rest of the term

Asked whether they have hope for what the final year and a half of Trump’s first term holds, just under three-in-ten Canadians (28%) say they are optimistic. Seven-in-ten (72%) lean the other way, saying they are pessimistic about what may happen before the election:

A core group of Canadians, led by Conservatives (58% are optimistic), are inclined to feel hopeful, while the bulk of the population continues to doubt that much good will come from Trump’s time in office. Albertans are most positive, while Quebecers are most pessimistic.

Four more years of Trump?

The political theatre of Robert Mueller’s testimony dominated headlines in the United States last week, with pundits offering competing predictions over what the former FBI Director’s presence will mean for President Donald Trump’s future. Is impeachment inevitable or dead? Perhaps it depends on which cable news network a viewer is watching.

Canadians are similarly polarized when they think about the future of the Trump presidency heading into a 2020 election campaign south of the border. Asked if they believe today that the President is likely to win re-election, half (50%) say they lean toward yes, and half (50%) say they lean toward no. However, a level of equivocacy pervades their forecasting. Only about one-in-ten on each side are firm in their outlook, with 13 per cent saying they’re certain he will win, and 9 per cent saying he has no chance:

As Democrats continue their nomination process, it is notable that recent general election polls have found that both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would have a considerable advantage nationally if the election were held today, while other frontrunners Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris would have a tougher road.

Canadians assessing the overall US political landscape have different views depending on where they live. While most regions are divided close to evenly, nearly two-thirds of Albertans (64%) say they expect Trump to win, while a similar proportion of Quebecers (62%) expect him to lose:

Most say another win for President would hurt Canada

If, indeed, the sun rises on November 4, 2020, and Donald Trump continues to be the leader of the “free world,” Canadians expect the outcome would have a negative impact on their own country.

The two nations’ most intense conflict under the Trump administration has most certainly been the renegotiation of NAFTA. After heated discussions, public attacks on Canada’s dairy sector, and the imposition of tariffs on Canada’s aluminum and steel industry, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico emerged with a new trade deal last November, and Washington agreed to remove tariffs this past May. Some observers have noted that the new NAFTA looks much like the old NAFTA with a new name – the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement – but also point out that this status quo may end up being a victory for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.

The relationship between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump has vacillated between amiable and awful at times, with Trudeau recently condemning comments made by Trump toward minority congresswomen that many deemed racist, and Trump calling Trudeau “weak and dishonest” in June of 2018.

Canadians do not foretell good things for this country in the event of another Trump victory. Two-thirds (67%) say four more years of the Republican president would have a negative impact on Canada. Young women are the most pessimistic (81% say negative) while men between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most positive. That said, even among this group, only 13 per cent are positive:

The largest variations in Canadian opinion about the American president are driven by political affiliation. Just four-in-ten past Conservatives (41%) say that another Trump term would be bad for this country, half as many as those who supported the two other major federal parties in 2015.

Conservatives are also five times more likely than Liberals to say that a Republican win in the 2020 presidential election would be good for Canada, while close to zero past NDP voters share this opinion:

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here

Click here for the full report, including tables and methodology

Click here for the questionnaire used in this survey


Image – Flickr


Shachi Kurl, Executive Director: 604.908.1693 @shachikurl

Dave Korzinski, Research Associate: 250.899.0821

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