New poll suggests Canadians still unsure about Justin Trudeau’s competency

Itt’s marketing 101: if you say something often enough, people are going to start believing it.

For months, every chance they’ve gotten, the Tories have tried to spread the narrative that Justin Trudeau is “in over his head.”

Well, it looks as if people are believing it.

A Nanos Research poll released Thursday, suggests that Trudeau’s Liberals are a solid six points ahead of the Conservatives — that’s the good news for the Grits.

The bad news is that the poll suggests that Canadians are unsure about Trudeau’s competency as a leader.

According to Nanos, Trudeau rates high in terms of trustworthiness and his vision for Canada, but when it comes to competency, he falls far behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Leaders Competence Trust Vision for Canada
Stephen Harper 34.9% 21.1% 25.6%
Thomas Mulcair 19.8% 16.3% 12.6%
Justin Trudeau 17.4% 23.4% 29.6%

Trudeau might rate low in competency because of the things he has — and hasn’t — said.

But according to political consultant Gerry Nicholls, the Tory attacks against Trudeau haven’t hurt Stephen Harper’s party.

“All along, the Tories have been trying to get the message out that Trudeau “in over his over his head”, that he’s not competent. And no wonder. When choosing a leader, the number one thing voters look for in a candidate is competence,” Nicholls told Yahoo Canada News in an email exchange.

“That means if Canadians view Harper as more competent than Trudeau, then forget all the scandals, forget Trudeau’s cuteness factor, forget the polls; it’s the prime minister who has the big edge.”

Liberal insider Warren Kinsella seems to agree. Here’s his take on the new poll.

“Trudeau’s strength is simultaneously his weakness. It is his freshness, and his newness, that is attracting the attention (and the enthusiasm) of many Canadians. It is his freshness and newness that also – per Nanos – worries many people,” Kinsella wrote on his website adding that the Tory ads were “effective.”

“The analogy I am reaching for (typically) is pop culture-related: if you want to get light and bright stuff, you watch Dick Clark, you know? But if you want a serious take on the world, you’ll turn on Walter Cronkite.

“How will it all resolve itself in 2015? Well, I stand by my ongoing prediction: Harper/Cronkite will win the next election. Trudeau/Clark, meanwhile, will trade places with Mulcair.”