Reaction to allegation breaks down along partisan lines.
A new Angus Reid survey shows 33% of Canadians say their opinion of Justin Trudeau has worsened in the wake of the groping allegation.
17% say their opinion of Trudeau “significantly worsened,” while 16% say their opinion “slightly worsened.”
61% say it had no impact, while 6% say their opinion of Trudeau improved.
As expected, reaction to the story has closely tracked partisan divisions, with a majority of Liberals, and a majority of NDP supporters saying the allegation had no impact. However, 21% of Liberals, and 32% of NDP supporters say their opinion of Trudeau has worsened.
Having a fifth of their own supporters reporting a worsening opinion is something that will certainly concern some Liberal strategists.
Favourable media coverage helps Trudeau through scandal
While the numbers aren’t great for Trudeau, he clearly got help from the establishment media salvaging most of his support through the scandal. As many people pointed out, the media coverage of the accusations against Trudeau was far more favourable than the coverage of scandals against Conservatives.
Additionally, CBC had the story for months and sat on it, and the mainstream press only started covering it after it emerged on Twitter and websites like SpencerFernando.com.
That’s why it’s unsurprising that there is still relatively low awareness of the allegation. 21% say they haven’t heard anything about it, 37% say they are “just scanning the headlines,” 29% say they are “seeing some coverage and having the odd conversation,” while just 13% say they are “seeing a lot of media coverage and discussing it with friends and family.”
As follows from that, the survey showed 63% saying the allegation are overblown, while 37% disagree. Many had noted that the issue wasn’t really the allegation from the past, but the double-standard Trudeau applied to his behavior compared to the behavior of others – though most media coverage downplayed the hypocrisy angle.
This scandal alone won’t bring down Trudeau. And with the help of much of the establishment media, he gets a cushion not afforded to other politicians. Still, the allegation could make it tougher for him to expand his support, and could feed into the perception that Trudeau feels he’s above the rules he applies to everyone else.
Says Angus Reid, “The potential damage done to the Prime Minister’s reputation may not be devastating, but he does not escape without some impact.”
Photo – YouTube