When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Biden meet, they will have something to commiserate about: their dismal standing in the polls.
For months now, Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been sinking rapidly in public opinion polls, while more recent polls suggest the Conservatives under Pierre Poilievre would win any election held now.
Likewise, new polls from the New York Times and Siena College found Biden trailing Donald J. Trump in five of the six most important battleground states.
[Read: Trump Leads in 5 Critical States as Voters Blast Biden, Times/Siena Poll Finds]
[The detailed Times/Siena Poll data]
Comparing the political situations in Canada and the United States is a difficult task due to the variety of differences between the countries and their political systems. And, of course, Americans won’t vote for another year, and the next Canadian federal election is likely two years away.
But disgruntled voters in both countries share one major concern: inflation and the economy in general.
“There is ample evidence that inflation is destructive to the performance of the incumbent government and how people think about it,” David Coletto, president and CEO of Abacus Data, told me.
That of Mr. Coletto latest survey found that 39% of engaged voters would vote for the Conservatives and 26% for the Liberals, while the New Democrats would be supported by 18% of those voters. (In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois was supported by 34% of engaged voters.)
This is a far cry for Trudeau from his early days as prime minister, when his leadership approval rating reached a tantalizing 73% in one poll. The current Abacus poll found that 53% of respondents had a negative opinion of Trudeau, while only 29% had a favorable opinion.
Many factors, Coletto said, contribute to this dissatisfaction, but inflation, higher interest rates, housing costs and a general feeling of boredom about the economy are major.
Voters polled in the Times/Siena poll, by a margin of 59% to 37% — the widest gap on any issue in the survey — said they had more confidence in Trump than in Biden on the economy.
Some of the criticism leveled at Trudeau’s economic record, Coletto said, is based on perceptions that don’t match reality. In an earlier Abacus survey, Coletto found that most Canadians mistakenly believed that inflation was higher in Canada than in other countries. International Monetary Fund statistics for October show that Canada’s 3.6% rate is well below Germany’s 6.3% or France’s 5.6. Likewise, Biden gets little to no credit for the significant job creation under his watch.
“But it doesn’t calm your nerves to say, ‘Guys, things here are good relatively speaking,’ when compared to where they were five years ago, things are no better,” Coletto said. “And that’s how people evaluate their situation because people don’t live in those other countries where inflation still remains very high.”
The other big factor for Trudeau, Coletto said, is simply that many voters vote for a leader like him, who has been around since 2015 and has led his party through three successful elections. Biden may only be in his first term as president, but he has been a national political figure since his first election to the Senate 50 years ago.
Biden’s age, 80, is also a problem. In the Times/Siena poll, 71 percent of respondents said he was “too old” to be effective as president. Only 39% thought the same thing about Trump, who is 77.
“Inflation kills governments and time kills governments,” Coletto said.
While Trudeau’s Liberal government’s standing has never fallen this low in the polls, there have been other periods when its popularity declined, then recovered. And relatively few liberals have publicly suggested that it might be It’s time for the Prime Minister to step aside despite his repeated promise to fight in the next elections. Likewise, calls from prominent Democrats for Biden’s withdrawal remain limited.
“Will the prime minister stay or go?” Mr. Coletto said. “I have no idea. But where his leadership is today is a very different situation than it was five months ago.”
The latest and youngest residents of Colonel Belcher’s Chartwell retirement home in Calgary are members of the New Zealand curling team, who have come to Canada to hone their skills.
The trial is underway against David DePape, who police say broke into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and beat her husband in 2022, when she was still speaker of the House. Mr. DePape, a Canadian, was living illegally in the United States at the time. His lawyer does not respond to the prosecution’s evidence.
Following its bankruptcy filing, WeWork closed four Canadian locations. One Canadian real estate investor told the New York Times that the bankruptcy meant the end of projections that flexible office space would one day account for a significant portion of commercial office rents.
Winnipeg-born artist Marcel Dzama spoke with Julia Halperin about his collection of 250 handmade masks.
Kathleen Mansfield, a Toronto pharmacist, is among a group of people who told the Times Magazine why they wanted the space to be their final resting place.
A Titanic first-class dinner menu, dated April 11, 1912, found in a 1960s photo album that belonged to a community historian in Dominion, Nova Scotia, is expected to sell at auction for more than $86,000 .
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has written about Canada for the New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.
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