We’ve seen tons of polls and articles showing that Donald Trump is the most unpopular incoming President in the history of polling and in all likelihood in the history of the country. In a sense that’s not terribly surprising since his favorability was extremely low throughout the campaign and he actually lost the popular vote by about 2 percentage points. But there’s something more to it than that. He’s gotten more unpopular through the course of the transition.
This again is close to unprecedented. As you’d expect, the electorate remains highly divided in the days just after a presidential election and then has a rally on effect as the national pageantry of the change of power accelerates. The opposite is happening with Trump.
We now have two good apples to apples approval measures for Trump’s transition.
Gallup tested Trump approval in the second week of December and got 48%-48%. In early January the number had fallen to 44% approve, 51% disapprove.
Today’s CNN poll has another before and after. In mid-November 46% approved and 45% disapproved, against basically tied. In the poll just out today it’s 40% approve, 52% disapprove.
These numbers aren’t just double digits behind all his recent predecessors – at the same period, Obama was at 83%, Bush at 61% and Clinton at 68%. Most got more popular through their transitions. Trump’s getting more unpopular as he goes.