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Mr. Trudeau Goes to Washington: While Most (68%) Americans can Identify the Canadian Prime Minister, a Majority (54%) Agrees They Don’t Really Care about Justin Trudeau’s State Visit

Three Quarters (76%) of Americans Say Canada, Not Mexico (24%), is America’s Most Important Neighbor

Toronto – As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Washington D.C. for an official State Visit with U.S. President Barack Obama, a new Ipsos poll of Americans conducted for Global News has revealed that while most Americans can identify the Canadian Prime Minister from a list, a majority doesn’t really care about his State Visit.

The new Canadian Prime Minister has often been referred to as a celebrity, and this appears to have led to solid name recognition for Justin Trudeau in the U.S., with 68% of Americans able to correctly identify his name out of a list of six possible contenders. In second place is notorious fraudster and fictional person Pierre Poutine (12%), followed by Margaret Atwood (Canadian author) (6%), Stephen Harper (former Prime Minister) (6%), Peter Shumlin (Governor of Vermont) (6%), and Kathleen Wynne (Premier of Ontario) (3%).

When asked to consider which neighbor they consider to be America’s most important, three quarters (76%) of Americans say it’s Canada, compared to one quarter (24%) who believes it is Mexico. Even in the South (74% Canada vs. 26% Mexico) and West (67% Canada vs. 33% Mexico), more say that Canada is America’s most important neighbor. Nearly all (94%) Americans agree (63% strongly/31% somewhat) that “it is important that Canada and the United States have a close and collaborative relationship”, while few (6%) disagree (2% strongly/4% somewhat).

However, in spite of this belief and Trudeau’s celebrity, just four in ten (41%) agree (11% strongly/30% somewhat) that they will be “closely following the State Visit by the Canadian Prime Minister”, while six in ten (59%) disagree (23% strongly/35% somewhat). Moreover, a majority (54%) agrees (16% strongly/38% somewhat) that they “don’t really care about the State Visit by the Canadian Prime Minister”, while a minority (46%) disagrees (12% strongly/33% somewhat) that they don’t care about the bilateral visit.

Despite some ambivalence, Justin Trudeau is likely to get a warm reception from President Obama and the American people, with most (91%) Americans agreeing (51% strongly/40% somewhat) that they have a favourable view of Canada, compared to one in ten (9%) who disagrees (3% strongly/7% somewhat).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 4 and 7, 2016, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,006 Americans from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. 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 American adults 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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