Donald Trump is set to take office with an approval rating far below those of previous presidents-elect, a new poll found.
In the survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center and released on Dec. 8, 41 percent of respondents said that they approve of the job Trump has done explaining his plans for America’s future. When it comes to appointing his advisers, 40 percent approve.
Both Republicans and Democrats reported improving opinions about the president-elect when compared to their views in October. A 67 percent majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents said that they believe Trump’s presidency will be a good or great one, while only 54 percent said the same in October. Among Democrat-leaning respondents, 64 percent believe that he will be a poor president, with 45 percent saying he will be terrible. In October, 89 percent had negative views of his presidency, with 74 percent calling him terrible.
Though he is viewed much more positively than he was before winning the election, his approval ratings still measure at an all-time low for those preparing to enter the White House. At the end of 2008, 71 percent of Americans reacted positively toward Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments, and 58 percent were optimistic toward George W. Bush’s top appointments in January 2001. Regarding the way that each of the previous presidents presented their policy goals, 72 percent approved of Obama and 50 percent approved of Bush.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s approval ratings are largely split, with 39 percent reporting positive views toward the Indiana governor and 42 percent reporting negative opinions. Nonetheless, a 54 percent majority said that Pence is qualified to become president should anything happen to Trump, while 30 percent said that he is not qualified.
The survey also found that, while 78 percent of Americans agreed that Trump won the most votes in the electoral college, Republicans were less likely than Democrats to say that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the Nov. 8 election. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, 68 percent said that Clinton won the popular vote, compared to 81 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners saying the same, though Clinton has more than 2.6 million votes more than Trump, according to the Dec. 7 tally from David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.