President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed the mounting signs that he remains a highly unpopular political figure, slamming polls that show a historically low approval rating for an incoming president.
“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before,” Trump tweeted.
The president-elect’s tweet came after a slew of new polls released this month showed he will likely become the lowest rated incoming president in modern history.
A CNN/ORC survey showed that only 40% of Americans approved of how Trump handled the transition between his incoming presidential administration and President Barack Obama’s outgoing team. A Washington Post/ABC poll also found that 40% of Americans approved of the job he was doing during the transition.
And the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls, which did not factor in CNN or the Washington Post’s Tuesday polls, showed Trump with a 42% favourable rating and a 48% unfavorable rating.
Most modern presidents ascended to the office with high approval ratings, occasionally marking the zenith of their popularity as political figures.
Immediately after the 2008 election, Gallup found that 70% of Americans held a favourable view of then-President-elect Obama, while 83% of Americans approved of how he handled the presidential transition in 2008 and January 2009.
According to CNN, Bill Clinton garnered a 67% approval rating during his transition period in 1992 and early 1993, while 61% of Americans approved of the job George W. Bush did during his transition to the presidency.
But Tuesday’s tweet marked the reemergence of a familiar Trump habit of publicly dismissing polls that do not cast a favourable light on his behaviour or popularity.
Though he often mocked his GOP rivals for their low poll numbers during the presidential primary, Trump dubbed the general election polls that often showed him trailing Hillary Clinton as “rigged.”
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