According to a Gallup poll released by TIME on Monday, January 2, 2017, Americans have significantly less faith in Donald Trump than they had in his predecessors.
Only 44 per cent said they were confident Trump would avoid major scandals in his administration, 46 per cent said they are confident in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis, and 47 per cent said they trust him to use military force wisely.
When the same questions were asked at the start of outgoing President Barack Obama’s and former Presidents George W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s terms, roughly three-quarters of Americans said they had confidence in the newly elected President in these areas.
When compared with Gallup’s averages of confidence polling in his predecessors, Trump comes up short.
The incoming president has a 32-point confidence deficit in his ability to avoid scandals in his administration, a 29-point deficit in his ability to use military force well and a 28-point deficit in his ability to manage the executive branch.
Most Americans (60 per cent) believe Trump will be able to get things done with Congress, but even there he comes up far behind his predecessors — the average number of Americans with confidence in Obama, Bush and Clinton to work with Congress was 82 per cent. The data also reflects a more polarised America than Obama or Bush faced when they came into office.
On average, only 21 per cent of Democrats have confidence in Trump’s ability to handle the various responsibilities of the presidency. By contrast, roughly two-thirds of Republicans had some confidence in Obama and the same was true for Bush and Democrats.
But Trump even has a confidence deficit among members of his own party. Only 84 per cent of Republicans have confidence in his abilities as President, compared with 94 per cent of Democrats who trusted Obama and 95 per cent of Republicans who had faith in Bush. The poll’s sample included 1,028 adults and had a margin of error of +/- 4 per cent.