Poll: Donald Trump approval still low as inauguration looms

Just a week away from Donald Trump’s inauguration, Americans are still expressing historically low approval for the president-elect’s handling of the transition.

According to a Gallup poll released Friday, more than half of people (51 percent of those surveyed) said they “disapprove” of Mr. Trump’s transition performance. Just 44 percent expressed approval of the president-elect, who has faced a number of controversies in the weeks following his Nov. 8 win. That’s a drop of four percentage points from the 48 percent of people that approved of the president-elect in early December. Four percent of those polled say they have no opinion on the issue.

Those numbers are substantially lower than the ratings of other presidents-elect before him: In 2009, 83 percent of Americans approved of Mr. Obama in the days leading up to his inauguration. In 2001, 61 percent said the same of George W. Bush, while Bill Clinton had a 68 percent approval rate in 1993.

Republicans and Democrats had differing views of how Mr. Trump has handled the transition, with 87 percent of Republicans saying they approved. Only 13 percent of Democrats said the same. 

Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominations -- several of whom have already weathered Senate confirmation hearings -- are also facing low approval ratings. In sum, Americans rate Mr. Trump’s Cabinet as worse than those chosen by Presidents-elect Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Fifty-two percent of people believe the president-elect’s Cabinet nominees are “average” or better -- a low number compared to 83 percent that believed that of Mr. Obama’s and Clinton’s, and 81 percent that thought that of Bush’s picks.

Forty-four percent viewed Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominees as “below average” or “poor.” Just 13 percent of people believed that Bush’s Cabinet was staffed with “below average” or “poor” picks. Twelve percent believed that of Clinton’s and ten percent of Obama’s.

The Gallup poll was conducted from Jan. 4-8, 2017, with a random sample of 1,032 adults, The margin of error is four percentage points.