Donald Trump will become US President on Friday with an approval rating of just 40 per cent, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of outgoing President Barack Obama, according to a latest poll. Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump’s handling of the transition are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll.
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Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84 per cent approval rating, 67 per cent approved of Bill Clinton’s transition as of late December 1992 and 61 per cent approved of George W. Bush’s transition just before he took office in January 2001. Trump’s wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the President-elect will be able to handle the job, CNN reported.
About 53 per cent say Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency, and the public is split evenly on whether Trump will be a good or poor president (48 per cent on each side). Americans’ impressions of Trump have worsened since November. In that time, disapproval of his handling of the transition has climbed seven points to 52 per cent, the percentage who think he’ll do a good job has dropped five points, and the share saying they have lost confidence in Trump’s ability to be president grew 10 points.
Trump’s favourability rating, a measure often seen as a read on a public figure’s personality rather than the job he or she is doing, has taken less of a hit, decreasing by just 3 points to 44 per cent. That change falls within the poll’s margin of sampling error and is not statistically significant, the report said.
Despite these declines, many Americans remain confident that Trump will achieve several signature campaign promises, with most saying it is at least somewhat likely that he will impose tariffs on companies that manufacture goods in Mexico (71 per cent) and create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas (61 per cent).
About half think Trump will be able to simplify the tax code (50%) or protect sensitive electronic information from theft by foreign governments (48%). Fewer, 44 per cent, say it’s likely that Trump will be able to build a wall along the border with Mexico, and just 29 per cent believe he will be able to get Mexico to reimburse the United States for the construction of the wall.
About 4-in-10 think the President-elect will be able to defeat ISIS, down from 50 per cent who said so in November. The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone January 12-15 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.