Why do some men dislike Justin Trudeau so much?
Men who strongly dislike Justin Trudeau say it's because they think he's fake, arrogant, divisive, and feminine.
A few weeks ago, Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star asked if I had any data that might help explain why men disliked Justin Trudeau so much. My firm Abacus Data and the Toronto Star recently announced a polling partnership and this was the sort of assignment - digging deeper into topics - that we wanted to do together.
So I set out to try and answer this question through a nationally representative online survey of 4,000 Canadian adults conducted from February 9 to 18, 2023. I asked several questions I hoped would provide some evidence to explain this phenomenon.
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Susan wrote a smart piece about the results, but I wanted to ensure the full results and my thoughts were here, on the record.
It also follows up with some commentary I shared with Jennifer Ditchburn in a story she wrote for the Canadian Press back in 2013.
“I think there is a subtle attempt not necessarily to question Justin Trudeau’s masculinity but to at least make him appear less masculine,” said David Coletto, a Canadian market researcher and CEO of Abacus Data.
Coletto says recent polling shows Trudeau does just as well with men as with women, something that would worry the Conservatives.
“I think (the ads) are meant to weaken his standing, particularly among middle-aged men, who are really the core of the Conservative government’s coalition, so they’re trying to shore that up ... the idea that this guy’s not a man’s man, and maybe therefore not worthy of our vote,” said Coletto.
So here’s what I’m seeing in the public opinion data:
Men do have a more negative impression of the Prime Minister than women, and the dislike is much more intense.
Men are 10 points more likely than women to have a “very negative” impression of Justin Trudeau. 36% of men have a very negative impression compared with 26% of women. Overall, 52% of men have a negative view compared with 44% of women.
Since Justin Trudeau and the Liberals were elected in 2015, men have always held more negative views than women. And over time while negative impressions have increased, so too has the gender gap in them.
But it is worth noting that a sizeable portion of men didn’t always hate Trudeau. When he was first elected, only 10% had a very negative view. Today, it has more than tripled to 36% (up 26 points). Women’s impressions of Trudeau have also become more negative, but they haven’t risen as much - up 18 points over the same period.
Who are the men who really don’t like Trudeau?
These men tend to be slightly older, more likely to live in Alberta and Saskatchewan, less likely to have a university education, more likely to be white, and more rural. They also tend to be less happy and much less trusting of news organizations. Household incomes are the same as others and they are as likely to be fathers as those who aren’t as unhappy with Trudeau as they are.