Washington, Jan 17: Donald Trump will become President on Friday with an approval rating of just 40 per cent, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, the lowest of any recent President and 44 points below that of outgoing President Barack Obama.
Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump's handling of the transition are more than 20 points below those for any of his three most recent predecessors, reported CNN on Tuesday.
Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84 per cent approval rating, 67 per cent approved of Clinton's transition as of late December 1992 and 61 per cent approved of George W. Bush's transition just before he took office in January 2001. According to the report, Trump's wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts about the President-elect's ability to handle the job.
About 53 per cent say Trump's statements and actions since Election Day have made them less confident in his ability to handle the presidency, and the public is split evenly on whether Trump will be a good or poor President (48 per cent on each side). Americans' impressions of Trump have worsened since November. Trump's favourability rating has taken less of a hit, decreasing by just 3 points to 44 per cent, shows the poll.
Despite these declines, many Americans remain confident that Trump will achieve several signature campaign promises, with most saying it's at least somewhat likely that he will impose tariffs on companies that manufacture goods in Mexico (71 per cent), renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement(61 per cent) and create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas (61 per cent).
About 50 per cent of Americans think Trump will be able to simplify the tax code or protect sensitive electronic information from theft by foreign governments (48 per cent). About 44 per cent say it's likely that Trump will be able to build a wall along the border with Mexico. About 4-in-10 think that the President-elect will be able to defeat ISIS, down from 50 per cent in November.
More broadly, less than half (46 per cent) say Trump's priorities for the country reflect their own. The country is almost evenly divided on whether the policies he's proposed will move the country in the right direction or the wrong one (48 per cent right direction, 49 per cent wrong direction). Trump's approval rating for handling the transition is almost 30 points higher among rural residents than it is among urbanites while it is nearly 20 points higher among men than women and among whites than non-whites.
Opinions on Melania Trump are mixed, with a sizable share still unsure how they feel about the incoming first lady (36 per cent favourable, 35 per cent unfavourable, 28 per cent unsure). Trump's daughter Ivanka heads into her role in the first family with more goodwill than her father or the future first lady.
Overall, 44 per cent have a favourable impression of her, 33 per cent unfavourable, with 23 per cent saying they're unsure. The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted on January 12-15 among a random national sample of 1,000 adults.