CNN/ORC Poll: Confidence Drops In Trump Transition

Washington Foldernews.com Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new Cable News Network International/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president.

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. Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84% approval rating, 67% approved of Clinton’s transition as of late December 1992 and 61% approved of George W. Bush’s transition just before he took office in January 2001.

The complete Cable News Network International/ORC poll results

Trump’s wobbly handling of the presidential transition has left most Americans with growing doubts that the President-elect will be able to handle the job. About 53% 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% on each side).

The President-elect dismissed the poll findings on Twitter: “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.”

Rep. Sean Duffy, a Trump supporter, said the President-elect’s ongoing battle with the media has hurt his image.

“What’s happening here is the public fight that Mr. Trump is having with Cable News Network International and other media groups has taken some skin off his poll numbers and it’s gone down,” he told Cable News Network International’s Chris Cuomo Tuesday on “New Day.”

Across all three of these measures, Americans’ impressions of Trump have worsened since November. In that time, disapproval of his handling of the transition has climbed seven points to 52%, the percentage who think he’ll do a good job has dropped five points, and the share saying they have lost confidence in Trump’s ability to be president grew 10 points.

Trump’s favorability rating, a measure often seen as a read on a public figure’s personality rather than the job he or she is doing, has taken less of a hit, decreasing by just 3 points to 44%. That change falls within the poll’s margin of sampling error and is not statistically significant.

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%), renegotiate NAFTA (61%) and create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas (61%).

About half think Trump will be able to simplify the tax code (50%) or protect sensitive electronic information from theft by foreign governments (48%). Fewer, 44%, say it’s likely that Trump will be able to build a wall along the border with Mexico, and just 29% believe he will be able to get Mexico to reimburse the United States for the construction of the wall. About 4-in-10 think the President-elect will be able to defeat ISIS, down from 50% who said so in November.
Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, January 11. In his first news conference since winning the election, a combative Trump made clear he will not mute his style when he is inaugurated on January 20. He lashed out at media and political foes alike.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
US Sen. Jeff Sessions, who Trump has nominated for attorney general, is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in Washington on Tuesday, January 10. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling high-level positions for the new administration.
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Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, arrives on Capitol Hill for a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday, January 9. Kushner, a 35-year-old businessman-turned-political strategist, will be senior adviser to the president, a senior transition official told Cable News Network International.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump gets on an elevator after speaking with reporters at New York’s Trump Tower on January 9.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump stands with Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma, Asia’s richest man, as they walk to speak with reporters at Trump Tower on January 9. Ma met with Trump to tease plans for creating “one million” jobs in the United States. Trump praised Ma after the meeting as a “great, great entrepreneur and one of the best in the world.”
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump stands with legendary boxing promoter Don King after meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, December 28. Trump and King met to discuss the relationship between Israel and the United States.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump attends a meeting with Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist and senior counselor, at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Wednesday, December 21. Trump spent the holidays in Mar-a-Lago.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway talks to the press in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Thursday, December 15. Conway, who was Trump’s campaign manager, will work in his administration as “counselor to the president,” it was announced on Thursday, December 22.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump meets with technology executives in New York on Wednesday, December 14. From left are Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon; Larry Page, chief executive officer of Google’s parent company Alphabet; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The three main areas discussed were jobs, immigration and China, according to a source briefed on the meeting.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Three of Trump’s children — from left, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric — attend the meeting with tech leaders on December 14.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump, Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan wave during an event in West Allis, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, December 13. “He’s like a fine wine,” Trump said of Ryan at the rally, which was part of his “thank you” tour to states that helped him win the election. “Every day that goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more.”
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump and rapper Kanye West speak to the press after meeting at Trump Tower in New York on December 13. Trump called West a “good man” and told journalists that they have been “friends for a long time.” West later tweeted that he met with Trump to discuss “multicultural issues.”
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, to be his nominee for energy secretary, which would make Perry the head of an agency he once suggested he would eliminate.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to serve as secretary of state, the transition team announced December 13. Tillerson, seen here at a conference in 2015, has no formal foreign-policy experience, but he has built close relationships with many world leaders by closing massive deals across Eurasia and the Middle East on behalf of the world’s largest energy company.
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Trump waves during the Army-Navy football game, which was played in Baltimore on Saturday, December 10.
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Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary, speaks during an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, December 9.
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Trump shakes hands with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at an event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, December 8. Trump re-introduced Branstad as his pick for US ambassador to China.
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Trump greets retired Marine Gen. James Mattis at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Tuesday, December 6. Trump said he would nominate Mattis as his defense secretary.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump speaks to members of the media at Trump Tower in New York on December 6.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump visits the Carrier air-conditioning company in Indianapolis on Thursday, December 1. Carrier announced that it had reached a deal with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is currently governor of Indiana, to keep about 1,000 of 1,400 jobs at its Indianapolis plant rather than move them to Mexico. The Carrier plant had been a theme of Trump’s campaign promise to prevent more jobs from being outsourced to other countries.
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Trump and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney share a meal in New York on Tuesday, November 29. Romney was reportedly in the running for secretary of state.
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Trump waves to a crowd at The New York Times building after meeting with some of the newspaper’s reporters, editors and columnists on Tuesday, November 22. Six takeaways from the meeting
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Trump is flanked by Pence and Romney after a meeting in Bedminster Township, New Jersey, on Saturday, November 19.
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“60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl interviews Trump and his family at his New York home on Friday, November 11. It was Trump’s first television interview since the election.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan shows Trump and his wife, Melania, the Speaker’s Balcony at the US Capitol on Thursday, November 10.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Ryan listens as Trump speaks to the press at the US Capitol on November 10. Trump talked about his eagerness to join forces with Ryan to begin implementing new policies.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump walks with his wife and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after a meeting at the US Capitol on November 10.
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Photos: In transition: President-elect Trump
Trump shakes hands with President Barack Obama following a meeting in the Oval Office on November 10. Obama told his successor that he wanted him to succeed and would do everything he could to ensure a smooth transition.
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Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel on Wednesday, November 9.
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More broadly, less than half say Trump’s priorities for the country reflect their own (46% say so), and 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% right direction, 49% wrong direction).

The poll suggests the deep political divisions that drove the 2016 presidential campaign — between men and women, whites and racial minorities, those holding college degrees and those without and rural residents and those in more urban areas — continue unabated as Inauguration Day approaches.

Trump’s approval rating for handling the transition is almost 30 points higher among rural residents than it is among urbanites, nearly 20 points higher among men than women and among whites than non-whites, and 13 points higher among whites without degrees than among those who completed college.

The incoming vice president, Mike Pence, holds a narrowly net-positive favorability rating, 40% favorable to 37% unfavorable. Republicans rate Pence slightly lower than his new boss, 75% have a favorable view of the VP-to-be while 89% have a positive take on Trump. Among Democrats, however, Pence earns higher marks than Trump, 16% see him favorably vs. 9% who say so about Trump.

Opinions on Melania Trump are mixed, with a sizable share still unsure how they feel about the incoming first lady (36% favorable, 35% unfavorable, 28% unsure). And after a campaign in which she largely remained off the trail, most say they expect her to take on a mostly private role as first lady rather than a public one. About two-thirds (67%) say they see her remaining more in the background and focusing on her role as a mother and wife than being an advocate for issues and causes and hosting White House functions.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who is moving to Washington, heads into her role in the first family with more goodwill than her father or the future first lady. Overall, 44% have a favorable impression of her, 33% unfavorable, with 23% saying they’re unsure.

The Cable News Network International/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone January 12-15 among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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