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Canadians big on Bernie, but think regardless of who Democrats nominate, Trump is likely to win

Less than two weeks ahead of Super Tuesday, the Democratic Primary race is growing tighter as people in the United States, and indeed around the world, wait to see who will emerge as the candidate to take on President Donald Trump in the coming election.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that if Canadians had their pick, they would lean toward Bernie Sanders as the candidate they prefer to lead the Democrats in November, both as the best chance to beat Trump, and the best option for the improvement of Canada-U.S. relations.

By a two-to-one margin, Canadians say that Sanders would be the best candidate to improve relations between the two countries, with former Vice President Joe Biden coming in second.

Ultimately, however, Canadians appear to have little expectation of a change in White House occupancy. While President Trump remains unpopular in Canada – 70 per cent hold a negative view of his administration – three-in-five expect that he will win the forthcoming election in November, regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

Canadian political preferences drive stark differences in opinion of Trump: only two per cent of past Liberal voters and a mere 1 per cent of past New Democrats view Trump favourably, compared to fully 44 per cent of past Conservatives. Indeed, more past CPC voters are positive about Trump than negative (44% to 34%).

More Key Findings:

  • One-quarter (24%) say that Bernie Sanders is the best bet to defeat Trump in the November election, slightly ahead of Joe Biden (19%). One-in-ten (12%) say none of the candidates give the Democratic Party a good chance
  • Sanders also enjoys the highest favourability among Canadians. Half (48%) say they have a favourable view of the Vermont Senator, a considerable advantage over Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, who each hold the favour of one-in-three (35%).
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has garnered considerable momentum in recent weeks with a strong showing in New Hampshire Primary, is relatively unknown to Canadians. Just 31 per cent have an opinion of her.
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