Two weeks after his triumph, most Americans say President-elect Donald Trump will ultimately do a good job as president, though fewer approve of the way he has handled the transition so far, according to a new poll. A narrow majority (53 per cent), say they think the 70- year-old real estate billionaire-turned politician will do a very or fairly good job as president, and 40 per cent say they have a lot of confidence in Trump to deal with the economy, according to a CNN/ORC Poll.
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The poll result outpaces the percentage who had that much confidence in Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan ahead of their first inaugurations, CNN reports. That perception comes as majorities think Trump will achieve several of the goals outlined during his campaign as top priorities. Nearly three-quarters say Trump is likely to repeal and replace Obamacare, two-thirds think he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and 6 in 10 say he will create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas.
Separately, 63 per cent say they expect the economy to be in good shape a year from now, the highest share to say so since September 2012. Americans are more divided over whether Trump will “drain the swamp” and reduce the amount of corruption in Washington (51 per cent think that’s likely), defeat ISIS (50 per cent see that as likely) or build a wall along the border with Mexico (48 per cent see that as likely). 66 per cent say a Trump presidency will bring change to the country, but just 43 per cent say it will be change for the better, twenty points below the 63 per cent who thought Obama would bring change for the better in November 2008.
That share has dropped precipitously among independents (from 88 per cent for Obama to 60 per cent for Trump), and among Democrats, even when compared to Republican ratings of Obama (49 per cent of Republicans thought Obama would bring change for the better, just 22 per cent of Democrats say that about Trump). Trump’s favourability has risen post-election to a high point in the polling: 47 per cent have a favorable view of him, 50 per cent unfavorable. Though still tilting negative, those ratings outpace the previous high reached just after the Republican Party convention in July, when 43 per cent saw Trump favorably.
Reviews are mixed for Trump’s transition so far, 46 per cent approve of his handling of the transition, 45 per cent disapprove. Those marks are well below approval ratings for Obama, Bush or Clinton during their transitions to the presidency. Only about half (48 per cent) say that Trump’s statements and actions since Election Day on November 8 have made them more confident in his ability to serve as president, while 43 per cent say he has made them feel less confident since upsetting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton two weeks ago in a win that few saw coming.