Donald Trump is set to begin his term as the nation’s 45th president with fewer Americans feeling confident about his prospects and with the lowest approval ratings of any incoming president in recent memory.
A new CNN/ORC Poll finds that Trump has an approval rating of just 40 percent, some 10 points lower than the numbers he posted in the same poll back in early November.
For even greater comparison, Trump’s putrid approval numbers are less than half of those posted by predecessor Barack Obama (84 percent) when he first took office for his first term. Also, Trump’s approval ratings regarding the way he and his administration have handled the transfer of power are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors.
Researchers concluded that when Obama assumed office in 2009, he had an 84 percent approval rating, while Presidents Clinton and Bush stood at an average of 64 percent.
About 53 percent of voters now agree the Republican president-elect’s statements, and actions since his upset win over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have made them less confident in his ability to handle the rigors of his job, and the public is now evenly split on the question of if he will be a good or poor president.
Over the last several weeks, disapproval of Trump’s overall handling of the transition has spiked by seven points, up to 52 percent, and the percentage who think he will do a good job as president has dropped by five points.
Well over more than half of all voters (54 percent) now also agree that Trump’s priorities for the country do not reflect those of their own, with 49 percent of respondents now afraid his policies will move the country in the wrong direction.
Still, Trump’s approval rating and public standing widely vacillates depending on whom you speak with.
His handling of the transition is almost 30 points higher among rural residents than it is for city dwellers, nearly 20 points higher among men than women and among whites than non-whites, and 13 points higher among whites without degrees than among those who completed college.
Trump has spent the last several days publicly feuding with Civil Rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis over the latter’s contention that he does not consider the boastful billionaire businessman to be a “legitimate” president for various reasons.
Nearly three in four people surveyed are also of the opinion he will carry out such signature platform promises as imposing tariffs on companies that manufacture goods in Mexico (71 percent) and create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas (61 percent).
As for his diehard pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep immigrants out, just 44 percent of respondents find that assurance to be credible, with just 29 percent believing he will be able to make good on his added vow to force the Mexican government into paying for its construction.
Trump has also pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, beginning with those “who have criminal records” the moment he is formally sworn into office on Jan. 20.
Currently, roughly 40 percent of voters are convinced he will be able to topple ISIS, down double-digits from his November high of 50 percent.
Pollsters also found incoming vice-president Mike Pence holds a narrowly net-positive favorability rating of just three percent, with 40 percent of voters overall giving him a favorable rating.
Overall, Republicans have an 89 percent favorable rating for Trump and a 75 percent mark for Pence. Among Democrats, those numbers drastically dip to just 16 percent for Pence and 9 percent for Trump.
The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone over three days commencing January 12, from among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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