As honeymoons go, Donald Trump’s wasn’t much to write home about. He was voted in as the most unpopular president-elect in modern history and got slightly less unpopular in the weeks that followed, as the goodwill flowed. Even then, though, he clearly remained the most unpopular president-elect in modern history. Again, that was the honeymoon.
And now it’s over.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that Mr Trump has reverted to his pre-election standing, with Americans having major concerns about his temperament and the direction in which his presidency will lead the country. Mr Trump’s continued controversies seem to have put him right back where he was before he won the election.
Quinnipiac is the first high-quality pollster to poll on Mr Trump twice since the election. And while its poll in late November showed his favourable rating rising from 34 per cent to 44 per cent, that number has dropped back to 37 per cent, which is about where it stood for much of the campaign. That’s tied for Mr Trump’s worst favourable rating in a poll since his election. And a majority — 51 per cent — now have an unfavourable view of him.
Likewise, the Quinnipiac poll shows a drop in confidence in Mr Trump across the board. Although 59 per cent were optimistic about the next four years under Mr Trump in November, today that number is 52 per cent. While 41 per cent thought he would be a better leader than President Obama, it’s now 34 per cent. While 52 per cent thought he would help the nation's economy, it’s now 47 per cent. While 40 per cent thought his policies would help their personal financial situation, it’s now 27 per cent. While 53 per cent thought he’d take the country in the right direction, it’s now 45 per cent.
You get the idea. There are similar drops in views of his honesty (42 per cent to 39 per cent), his leadership skills (56 per cent to 49 per cent), his compassion for average Americans (51 per cent to 44 per cent), his levelheadedness (38 per cent to 33 per cent) and his ability to unite the country (47 per cent to 40 per cent).
And then it gets worse. Toward the bottom, Quinnipiac asked respondents whether they thought Mr Trump’s behaviour since the election made them feel better or worse about him. Although “better” won out in late November, 36 per cent to 14 per cent who said they felt worse, that showing has been flipped. Today, 28 per cent say they feel worse about Mr Trump since Election Day; just 23 per cent feel better.
And clearly people still aren’t enamoured of Mr Trump’s social-media habits and fight-picking; by a 2-to-1 margin (64 per cent to 32 per cent), they think he should give up his personal Twitter account as president — bigger than the 59-to-35 margin in November.
Mr Trump won the election, which in his mind — and in the minds of many analysts — would seem to have vindicated his brand of politics and many of the decisions he made on the campaign trail. He got elected, so it all must have been secret political genius!
That’s not really how things work, though. Mr Trump squeaked his way into the White House with a very narrow win in which he got 46 per cent of the vote, won the states he needed to by less than a point, and lost the national popular vote, as voters told pollsters said they had huge reservations about him.
People set aside those reservations a little after he was elected. This poll suggests that those concerns have returned, as real as ever. And that’s bad news for Mr Trump’s political mandate 10 days before he’s sworn in.
Washington Post ©
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