As shocking as it might be, amid countrywide protests, transition team fiascos and controversial cabinet appointments, Trump’s popularity is actually on the rise. Granted, he is still the most unpopular President-elect in recent history, but if the trend indicated by a Gallop poll released Thursday continues, but is frightening. It’s also not particularly surprising. After the election, the winner inevitably gets a popularity boost. The country – even in its divided state – likes to rally around a president-elect.
Which makes Trump’s terrible poll numbers (even after the bump) a very bad sign for his future as president.
According to the results, 42 percent of Americans now view Trump favorably. This is an 8-point increase from the week before the election. A key reason for the rise is an 82 percent of Republicans who now view Trump favorably, up from 71 percent in early November. Trump’s favorability also increased amongst independents (from 32 percent to 39 percent) and even Democrats, although only from 5 to 10 percent.
As mentioned, this is probably just a post-election blip, though, as Trump is still disliked by 55 percent of Americans. Compare this to Obama’s 68 percent popularity rating as President-elect eight years ago and Bill Clinton’s 58 percent favorability rating in November 1992. Even George W. Bush, whose numbers didn’t come in until December after Al Gore conceded the race after the Florida recount, had a popularity rating of 59 percent.
With the controversy only heightening over the last week, including the huge outrage over the government Trump is putting together, beginning with choosing accused racist, misogynist Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist; the nervousness from countries such as Japan, China and indeed most of the 200 countries of the Paris Agreement; the support from countries such as Russia; and his softening on his strong campaign stances such as Obamacare; you would think Trump supporters and non-supporters would be worried, but according to yesterday’s poll, 51 percent of Americans say they are “more confident” in Trump’s ability to serve as president since being elected. This is a similar rating to what Bill Clinton and George W. Bush received.
The fact that Trump is so unpopular (even after winning) gives us definitive proof that he and his administration have no “mandate” to enact anything. He may have won enough states to win the Electoral College, but he lost the popular vote and continues to be disliked by more than half of the country. That’s not a foundation to build a platform on. It suggests America is not willing to give him a blank check on policies as important as immigration and national defense. He hasn’t earned the right.
The fact that his popularity is on the rise and more than half of Americans are “more confident” in Trump’s ability is what is worrisome. As protests and petitions pop up across the country aiming to denounce Trump’s policies and even abolish the Electoral College, Trump supporters are growing and are more confident in the direction the country is heading.
The Gallup poll, which was conducted November 9-13, surveyed 1,019 adults and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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