The United Kingdom is seen as the United States’ greatest ally

March 08, 2021, 1:45 PM UTC

One-third of Americans think of the United Kingdom as the United States’ greatest ally (32%), according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll conducted February 27 - March 2. 

YouGov asked an open question on the topic, allowing respondents to write in the name of whatever country they wanted in response. Democrats (34%) and Republicans (30%) are similarly likely to name the United Kingdom as the United States’ closest friend. 

But, there are still some partisan differences in the nations that follow the United Kingdom. Republicans are seven times more likely than Democrats (21% vs 3%) to consider Israel to be America’s greatest friend, while Democrats are more likely to name Canada (25% vs 10%). 

Religion also plays a role in the ranking, at least when it comes to Israel: 20% of white born-again Christians say Israel is America’s greatest ally, close behind the United Kingdom (27%). 

Asked directly about each country, overwhelming majorities of Americans view both the United Kingdom (84%) and Canada (86%) as either friends or allies. But while more than half of Republicans see Israel as an ally (54%), and not just a friend, only one in three Democrats (33%) agree. 

As far as the leaders of the two countries perceived as the friendliest, Canada’s Justin Trudeau is particularly popular with Democrats (77% favorable, compared to 49% of Republicans) while UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is more popular with Republicans (65% favorable, compared to 44% of Democrats). 

Related: America’s greatest enemy, according to Republicans and Democrats

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between February 27 - March 2, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.6% for the overall sample  

Image: Getty