He will not be inaugurated for another 36 days.
Those figures come from a Fox News poll that was released Wednesday. Interestingly, Pew Research released similar assessments of President Obama earlier in the day. Seventy percent of Democrats figure that Obama will go down as above average or outstanding; 57 percent of Republicans think he'll be considered below average or poor. At least the guy actually has a record to judge.
Pew noted, too, that attitudes about the legacies of the presidents had grown more partisan over time. Views of George H.W. Bush as his term was winding down suggested that about 6 percent of Republicans thought he'd go down as a bad president, compared with 17 percent of Democrats who said the same thing. That's a gap in negative perceptions of 11 points; the opposing party to the president was 11 points more negative about his presidency.
For Bill Clinton, the opposing party was 27 points more negative in its perception of his legacy than his own party. For George W. Bush, the margin was 45 points. For Obama, 53 points. And for Trump, the not-yet-president? 72 points.
Welcome to the golden age of partisanship.
This is not the only metric we can use to judge this, of course. Trump won in part because he was able to largely consolidate support from skeptical Republicans. With the exception of Clinton's two terms, at least 85 percent of Republicans have backed the Republican candidate for president according to exit polls. Hillary Clinton did her best to replicate her husband's success, without luck. The percentage of Republicans who backed Trump was lower than the percentage that backed Mitt Romney four years ago, but the broader trend of partisans backing the candidate of their own party continued.
Notice in that chart that Democrats have grown much more loyal to the candidate from their party since the 1970s. The two terms of Ronald Reagan skew things a bit; he was awfully good at peeling Democrats away. But that loyalty has increased.
We can see similar partisan loyalty in presidential approval ratings. Pew Research shared its annual assessments of presidential approval, broken out by party. Since the Dwight Eisenhower administration, views of how the president is doing have grown increasingly polarized by party.
On average, the gap between how Republicans and Democrats viewed Eisenhower was about 38.7 each year. For Reagan, it was 52.4. For George W. Bush, 58.1. For Obama, 67.6. Meaning that, on average, the approval rating offered by Democrats of Obama's presidency was 67.6 points higher than what Republicans said. The gap peaked this year at 86.9 percentage points. Every single year of Obama's presidency, the gap has been higher than at the highest point of Reagan's.
In April, we noted that this approval rating — a measure of how voters feel — had increased alongside polarization in Congress. You've seen that graph of Republican members of the House growing sharply more partisan in recent years, widening the gap between the parties on Capitol Hill. (This graph.) But the gap in Congress has increased alongside the gap in approval ratings by party.
The further the dots are from the lower left, the wider the gap between the parties in perceptions of the president by party and between the parties in the House and Senate.
No data yet for 2016, but there's no reason to assume the trend won't continue.
After all, something else remarkable happened in 2016. For the first time since members of the Senate were chosen by a popular vote, the results of the Senate contests in each state mirrored the results of the presidential contest in that state. In other words, every state that Trump won, the Republican candidate won, too.
What's more, the results of each contest correlate much more strongly than they used to. Pay attention to the diagonal line below. The closer the dots are to that line, the closer the margins of victory in the Senate and presidential contests were to each other.
In statistical terms, the r-squared value in 1990 was 0.051. In 2016, it was 0.856. (Closer to 1 indicates a stronger correlation.)
There's not really too much further down this road that we can go. But it's worth keeping in mind what it means for the 2016 election. Trump pledged to succeed by wooing Democrats to his cause. He certainly gained more support from Democrats than did Romney, according to exit polls. But he lost the popular vote and won the electoral college to a great extent on the strength of Republicans coming home to vote for the Republican.
Put another way: Trump often positions himself rhetorically as nonpartisan. But he edged his way into the White House thanks to running in a very partisan year. And luckily for him, the party that brought him to the dance is already convinced it will have a great time on this date, though the night has barely begun.