Young Support Long Campus Encampments: POLL

This is a poll from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute:

As universities across the country celebrate convocations, some of Canada’s largest institutions do so in the face of pro-Palestinian encampments entrenched on university grounds for more than a month.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds the camps’ welcome on campus wore out weeks ago in the eyes of many Canadians. Two-in-five (42%) Canadians say it is acceptable for students to set up protest camps overnight; half (50%) disagree. And that’s where acceptance peaks. Two-thirds believe it is unacceptable for encampments to last weeks (64%) or several months (66%).

Canadians are not unified in their views on this subject; there is a stark generational contrast. A majority (53%) of 18- to 24-year-old Canadians believe an encampment lasting several months is fine. The proportion who share that belief shrinks considerably with age, down to one-in-10 (9%) of those older than 64 who would agree.

This study was conducted simultaneously by ARI in the United States and Canada, offering a cross-border view of encampments which began first on American campuses before Canadian students followed suit. Canadians and Americans share similar views as these protest camps persist: near identical minorities of people on both side of the border believe camps lasting overnight (41% U.S., 42% Canada), several days (38% U.S., 39% Canada), several weeks (32% U.S., 29% Canada) and several months (29% U.S., 25% Canada) are acceptable.

There is also similar pattern seen among American age cohorts as those in Canada, with half (49%) of American 18- and 34-year-olds and a similar number (47%) of Canadians that age who believe camps lasting several months are fine, outnumbering those older than 54 on both sides of the border (14% U.S., 10% Canada) who agree by more than three-to-one.


More Key Findings:
– When it comes to the demands of the protesters – that universities disclose, divest, and sever ties with Israeli institutions – opposition (46%) is higher than support in Canada (31%). Similar figures (41% oppose, 31% support) are seen among Americans.
– Likely NDP voters support campus encampments lasting from overnight (75%) to several months (56%) at a majority level, while most of those who would vote CPC say they find any length of encampment unacceptable. Likely Liberal voters are split on encampments lasting several weeks (47% acceptable, 47% unacceptable), but most view anything longer than that unacceptable.
– President Joe Biden has dealt with criticism – and a protest vote during the Democratic presidential nomination process this year – over his administration’s handling of Israel’s war in Gaza. With that in the background, more than two-in-five (43%) of those who would vote Biden for president day believe protest camps lasting several months is acceptable. One-in-eight (13%) likely Donald Trump voters say the same.

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