Poll: Donald Trump's pre-inauguration approval rating at record low

President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in this Friday with a 40-percent approval rating, according to a new poll, lower than any other recent president.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday, Mr. Trump has an approval rating of 40 percent and a disapproval rating of 52 percent. His approval rating is less than half of President Obama’s approval rating on the eve of his inauguration in 2009: that year, Mr. Obama’s approval rating as he took office was 84 percent, with just 14 percent who disapproved.

Mr. Trump’s approval rating is also significantly lower than other recent presidents: in January 2001, President George W. Bush’s approval rating was 61 percent, and in late December of 1992, approximately a month before Bill Clinton was inaugurated, his approval rating was 67 percent.

Further questions indicate that many Americans worry about Mr. Trump’s ability to handle the responsibilities of president.

According to the poll, 48 percent of those surveyed believe Mr. Trump will be a “very poor” or “fairly poor” president -- the same percentage that say he’ll be a “very good” or “fairly good” president. 9By comparison, just 18 percent said Mr. Obama would be a “very poor” or “fairly poor” president in January 2009.)

And 53 percent said Mr. Trump’s actions and statements since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to govern, compared with just 37 percent who said they’re now more confident in Mr. Trump.

Americans are also sharply split about whether Mr. Trump’s policies will be beneficial for the direction of the country. In the poll, 48 percent said Mr. Trump’s policies will take the country in the right direction, while 49 percent said they’ll take the country in the wrong direction. Fifty-two percent said Mr. Trump’s policies do not reflect their priorities, while 46 percent said his policies do reflect their priorities.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults by telephone from Jan. 12-15 and has a margin of error or +/- 3 percentage points.

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.