Prairie Post (East Edition)

Angst of the Americas: Four-in-five Canadians worry about the domestic impacts of continued U.S. political turmoil


As Canadians come to terms with deepening political conflict and division domestical­ly, new data from the nonprofit Angus Reid Institute finds many also looking south with growing alarm over internal political strife in the United States.

Four-in-five Canadians say they are worried the current state of U.S. democracy will negatively impact Canada’s economy and security. This is the majority belief across regional and political lines, though past Conservati­ve voters are most likely to dissent at one-in-five (22%).

Many are already looking ahead to the 2024 election, as speculatio­n ramps up that Donald Trump will once again represent the Republican Party in challengin­g for the nation’s top job. The prospects of another Joe Biden term are met with little enthusiasm or critique in Canada, while the idea of a return of Trump is overwhelmi­ngly viewed as bad for U.S.

Further, there are many Canadians who believe Trump winning a second term in 2024 would mean the end of democracy in the United States. Seven-in-ten (68%) of Canadians agree that democracy in the U.S. cannot survive another four years of Trump as president. They are joined in that sentiment by half (49%) of Americans, but many (44%) on that side of the 49th parallel believe democracy in the U.S. will be fine even if Trump is president again.

Regardless of who ends up running for the presidency in 2024, there is concern on both sides of the border that the path the United States is heading down is increasing­ly an authoritar­ian one. Approachin­g half on both sides of the border (47% in Canada, 49% in the U.S.) believe the U.S. is on its way to becoming an authoritar­ian state. Notably, past Trump voters (60%) are more likely to hold this belief than those who voted for Biden in the 2020 presidenti­al election (43%).

More Key Findings:

• One-third (36%) of past Conservati­ve voters believe a second term of Trump would make America better. For past Liberal, NDP and Bloc voters, nearly all say four more years of Trump would make the country worse.

• Nearly all of those who voted Liberal, Bloc or NDP in September believe U.S. democracy will be in peril if Trump is re-elected. Past CPC voters are more split: 43 per cent believe democracy in the U.S. can’t survive another term of Trump, 44 per cent disagree.

• A majority of past Liberal (54%) and NDP (60%) voters believe the U.S. is on its way to becoming an authoritar­ian state. Two-in-five of those who voted CPC (41%) and Bloc (38%) in September agree, but an equal number of those partisans (40% CPC, 37% Bloc) say that isn’t the case.

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