President-elect Donald Trump’s transition approval rating is lower than that of his predecessors over almost the last 25 years, according to a new Gallup poll.
Trump’s approval rating hovers around 48%, which is at least 17 percentage points lower than the 65% approval rating — or higher — that each of the last three presidents had during their transition.
President Bush had a 65% approval rating when he first took office, President Clinton took office with a 67% rating, and President Obama’s approval rating, at 75%, was the highest of the lot.
Trump’s disapproval rating of 48% during his transition is also the highest of any president in the last quarter century. The Gallup study notes that a potential factor driving down the president-elect’s approval rating is that members of the Democratic party are much more critical of Trump than they were of previous Republican opponents.
Obama and Clinton had nearly a 50% approval rating from members of the Republican party, and Bush had almost a 50% approval rating from Democrats.
According to the poll, Trump’s support among members of his own party also lags behind Bush’s Republican support — Trump has an 86% approval rating, while Bush had 93%. He also does significantly worse among independents than his predecessors did.
Trump’s job approval rating may also be the lowest in Gallup’s polling history. Job approval ratings for presidents generally tend to be around 8 points lower than their transition approval ratings, the study notes. To date, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have the lowest initial job approval ratings, at 51% each.
The study notes that in order to boost his approval ratings, Trump will need the support of more democrats and independents, many of whom are wary of his cabinet picks. His nominee for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, has drawn sharp criticism from many democrats and some republicans for his close ties to Russia and Russian president Vladimir Putin.
His other cabinet picks, many of whom are bankers, lobbyists, and climate change sceptics, have drawn the ire of prominent progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
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