The view of U.S. citizens of Mexico is the poorest it has been in nearly 20 years, a new survey reveals.
The poll by Gallup reveals that 72 percent of U.S. citizens view Mexico as an ally (27 percent) or a friend (45 percent). Slightly over a quarter of Americans view its southern neighbor as an enemy (20 percent) or unfriendly (6 percent).
Tensions between the two countries are high over illegal immigration, trade and U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall across the Mexican-U.S. border. U.S. citizens are also concerned about Mexican illegal drugs and drug cartel violence spilling over the border. According to the Mexican Interior Ministry, Mexico had 29,168 murders in 2017, the highest number ever recorded.
Gallup began asking Americans about how they view Mexico four times, starting in 2000. In 2000 and 2001, 88 percent of Americans said Mexico was an ally or a friend. That fell 10 points by 2013, Gallup said.
Democrats were likely to have a more favorable view of Mexico versus their Republican counterparts, Gallup said.
“Americans’ increasingly negative attitudes toward U.S.-Mexico relations could potentially have an impact on the ongoing renegotiation of NAFTA,” Gallup wrote in a news release. “Given these views, Americans may be more willing to support a tougher stance in these negotiations despite the potential impact on trade with Mexico, America’s third largest trading partner.”
Gallup took the poll in June as part of a broader view of how Americans view 12 countries.
Here’s what they found.