Fifty-five per cent of Americans see President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration more of a political celebration by his supporters than “a celebration by all Americans of democracy in action,” according to a new Gallup poll released ahead of the high-profile event.
“Most Americans embraced Barack Obama’s historic inauguration eight years ago as a celebration by all Americans, but a majority this year has returned to the view that the ceremony is a more partisan affair,” Gallup said.
Fifty-five per cent now say Donald Trump’s inauguration this week is more of a political celebration by his supporters than “a celebration by all Americans of democracy in action.”
70-year-old Trump, a Republican, will take office with a majority of Americans having an unfavourable view of him and with his opponents planning widespread protests through the weekend, Gallup said.
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This political landscape is far different from eight years ago, when 55 per cent of Americans felt Obama’s inauguration as the first black president was a time for all to celebrate and more than three-quarters viewed his inauguration as one of the most historic in the nation’s history.
When Obama took office, the few protests surrounding his swearing-in were directed mainly at outgoing President George W. Bush.
More than three-fourths (77 per cent) of Democrats and those who lean Democratic view this year’s inauguration as a celebration by Trump’s supporters rather than a celebration by all.
A smaller majority of Republicans and leaners viewed Obama’s first swearing-in ceremony as a Democratic victory party. And more than four in five Democrats saw the Bush inauguration celebrations of 2001 and 2005 as a celebration by his supporters, Gallup said.
Though the overall percentage who now see the inauguration as a time for all to celebrate has dropped since 2009, it is higher than prior to either of the times George W. Bush was sworn in — driven almost entirely by changes in attitudes among Republicans and leaners.
More Republicans now say it is a celebration by all, even though Republicans are less likely to have a favorable view of Trump now (82 per cent) than they were to view Bush favorably prior to his inaugurations (97 per cent both times).
Americans are split on whether protests are appropriate during the inauguration ceremonies — 46 per cent say they are while 51 per cent say they are inappropriate.
The public was less willing to view the protests as appropriate in the days prior to George W. Bush’s inauguration ceremonies in 2001 (28 per cent) and 2005 (38 per cent). Gallup did not ask this question prior to Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013, the Gallup said.