These figures set him far apart from his predecessors. A week before Inauguration Day in 2009, 83 percent of Americans said they approved of President Barack Obama's management of the transition, with only 12 percent saying they disapproved. Even George W. Bush, who, like Trump, lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College, had 61 percent approval to 25 percent disapproval a week out from Inauguration Day in 2001.
Trump’s numbers have dipped since Gallup’s December survey, when the public split 48 percent to 48 percent on approval versus disapproval. They have also remained steadily and starkly split by political party, with 87 percent of Republican approving of Trump’s transition in the January poll compared to 86 percent last month. The percentage of Democrats who approve fell to 13 percent in January from 17 percent in December.
Part of the President-elect’s historically low numbers seems to be the public’s lackluster view of his Cabinet picks. Trump’s nominees were rated “below average/poor” by 44 percent of respondents, compared to only 10 percent of Obama’s and 13 percent of Bush’s nominees.
Gallup conducted the poll between Jan. 4-8, 2017 via cell phone and landline with 1,032 adults nationwide. The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.