Poll: Trump will start off term in historically weak position

With just a few weeks before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, he’s going to take office in a historically weak position, according to a Gallup survey released Monday.

Less than half of people in the U.S., 46 percent, said they’re confident in Mr. Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis and 47 percent said they’re confident in his ability to use military force wisely. The poll also found 44 percent said they are confident in his ability to prevent major scandals in his administration.

At least 70 percent of people were confident in President Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in all of the above areas before they took office, Gallup said. Nearly three-quarters of the public, for example, said in early 2009 that they were confident in Mr. Obama’s ability to handle an international crisis or use military force wisely.

Sixty percent, meanwhile, said they are confident that Mr. Trump can work with the GOP-controlled Congress effectively and 59 percent said they think he can handle the economy effectively. More than half, 53 percent, said Mr. Trump will manage the executive branch effectively. 

Mr. Trump’s predecessors, however, received higher marks in those areas, too.

The survey found that only 14 percent of Democrats said they’re confident that Mr. Trump can prevent major scandals and 17 percent said they’re confident he can handle an international crisis or use military force wisely.

The poll surveyed 1,028 adults between Dec. 7 and 11 with a 4 percentage point margin of error.