Forget the Hockey Rivalry. Americans Really Like Canada.

A new poll from Gallup shows that Americans feel better about Canada than any other country.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police pose for a photograph during Canada Day Celebrations as they wait to catch a glimpse of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Parliament Hill for Canada Day Celebrations on July 1, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Feb. 20, 2014, 11:30 a.m.

It may not seem like Amer­ic­ans feel very warmly to­ward Canada right now. The Ca­na­dian wo­men’s Olympic hockey team just beat the Amer­ic­an team 3-2 in over­time Thursday to win gold. On Fri­day, the men’s Olympic hockey teams are fa­cing each oth­er in the semi­finals. As Jake Simpson writes for The At­lantic Thursday, Canada has owned the U.S. in Olympic hockey for nearly a cen­tury. Amer­ic­ans would really, really like to pull off a vic­tory.

But don’t let the bud­ding sports rivalry make you think that re­la­tions between Amer­ica and its north­ern neigh­bor are fraught. In real­ity, ac­cord­ing to a new poll from Gal­lup, Amer­ic­ans feel bet­ter about Canada than they do about any oth­er coun­try in the world. There may be a rivalry, but it’s one full of love.

Ninety-three per­cent of Amer­ic­ans have a pos­it­ive view of Canada, Gal­lup Ed­it­or-in-Chief Frank New­port said in a video pub­lished Thursday based on the new 2014 World Af­fairs polling. That beats out Amer­ic­an feel­ings to­wards Great Bri­tain (90 per­cent pos­it­ive), Ger­many (81 per­cent), and Ja­pan (80 per­cent).

If you want to see some real dis­taste, check out how Amer­ic­ans feel about North Korea. Only 11 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans have a fa­vor­able opin­ion of that coun­try. Or even how Amer­ic­ans feel about their Olympic host: Just 34 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans have a fa­vor­able opin­ion of Rus­sia, which is one of the low­est levels to­ward the coun­try seen in re­cent dec­ades, New­port said.

So sure, take out your an­ger at Canada for beat­ing the U.S. wo­men’s hockey team and win­ning the gold medal for the fourth winter games in a row. And def­in­itely get your best game face on for Fri­day. But when you dig deep to find that com­pet­it­ive rage, don’t be sur­prised if you come up a little short.

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