As President-elect Donald Trump maneuvers his way through the transition process, the country is still divided – evenly divided on how they think the business mogul is handling the road to presidency,with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving, according to a Gallup poll.
Trump’s transition approval during the path to inauguration is lower than the three presidents before him: Barack Obama (75 percent), George W. Bush (65 percent) and Bill Clinton (67 percent).
Trump’s disapproval rating is higher than his predecessors’ when you put his 48 percent disapproval rating next to Obama’s 17 percent, Bush’s 26 and Clinton’s 15 percent disapproval between election and inauguration.
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Normally, a candidate’s approval goes up in transition, but Gallup noted that is not the case with The Donald.
“In a closely divided country, this may have less to do with his core supporters, but with his opponents and those that were on the fence but voted for him,” said Heath Brown, assistant professor of public policy, CUNY Graduate Center, John Jay College, City University of New York.
“Republican voters may have voted for the party's candidate but the exit polls on Election Day suggested that many were still not convinced he was fit for office. For some, their vote was in opposition to the Democrats and their candidate, rather than a strong affirmation of Trump.”
Trump’s approval among Republicans is at 86 percent, which just ekes out on top of Clinton’s 83 percent approval in 1992. Brown noted that the problem is Trump’s approval rating across the full electorate.
“This may have to do with the unconventional nature of the Trump campaign and victory,” Brown said. “He ran as an outsider with only weak ties to the Republican Party. I think many Americans are still trying to figure out what Trump truly believes about issues like trade, immigration, and foreign policy.
“His pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ is a primary issue that seems least clear, since many of Trump's appointments seem to suggest just the opposite.”
Meanwhile, Obama is enjoying his 59 percent approval rating ashe prepares to leave office, according to a separate Gallup poll, numbers he hasn't seen sinceJanuary 2009.
Gallup said Trump will not have glowing approval of the majority of the country when he takes office and winning over the public will be a “stiff challenge.”
“Trump still has time to turn the tide and avoid starting his presidency with the lowest public support in Gallup's polling history, but that would largely entail gaining the support of independents and, in particular, Democrats – most of whom appear reluctant to back him,” poll authors wrote.