What is the American public thinking of Donald Trump’s first few days in office? That all depends on who you ask.
Take a look at Gallup’s poll, and it looks like only 45 percent of Americans approve of his job performance. Trump would be the first president to score an initial approval rating below 50 percent in the history of the poll (which dates back to Eisenhower’s first term in 1953). However, both George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan came close to that 50 percent mark – polling barely above it initially (each polling at 51 percent).
A CNN/ORC survey showed that only 40 percent of Americans approved of how Trump handled his transition, while a Washington Post/ABC poll also found that 40 percent of Americans approved the job he was doing during the transition.
Trump responded by slamming the polls, stating “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval-rating polls. They are rigged just like before.” Normally such a statement would be worthy of mockery, but given how nearly every single major poll got the 2016 election wrong, perhaps these polls should be taken with a grain of salt.
Among one of the few polls that showed Trump and Hillary polling within the margin of error was Rasmussen Reports. On the day before the election, they had Hillary ahead by two points, but a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. Not surprisingly, their polling on Trump’s approval in his first days is more optimistic than others.
To quote from their daily presidential tracking poll: The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 57 percent of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-three percent (43%) disapprove.The latest figures include 42 percent who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 33 percent who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of +9 (see trends).
By comparison, four days into his presidency the statistics for Obama were 44 percent strongly approving, 18 percent strongly disapproving. Total approval stood at 61 percent, with total disapproval at 33 percent.
The percent of voters who think the country is heading in the right direction stood at 38 percent the night prior to the inauguration, which, while low, is the highest level of confidence in four years. While Obama may have polled better less than a week into his presidency, his policies and their consequences quickly eroded whatever optimism there was.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]