As honeymoons go, Donald Trump’s wasn’t much to write home about. He was voted in as the most unpopular president-elect in modern history and got slightly less unpopular in the weeks that followed, as the goodwill flowed. Even then, though, he clearly remained the most unpopular president-elect in modern history. Again, that was the honeymoon.
And now it’s over.
A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that Trump has reverted to his pre-election standing, with Americans having major concerns about his temperament and the direction in which his presidency will lead the country. Trump’s continued controversies seem to have put him right back where he was before he won the election.
Quinnipiac is the first high-quality pollster to poll on Trump twice since the election. And while its poll in late November showed his favorable rating rising from 34 percent to 44 percent, that number has dropped back to 37 percent, which is about where it stood for much of the campaign. That’s tied for Trump’s worst favorable rating in a poll since his election. And a majority — 51 percent — now have an unfavorable view of him.
Likewise, the Quinnipiac poll shows a drop in confidence in Trump across the board. Although 59 percent were optimistic about the next four years under Trump in November, today that number is 52 percent. While 41 percent thought he would be a better leader than President Obama, it’s now 34 percent. While 52 percent thought he would help the nation's economy, it’s now 47 percent. While 40 percent thought his policies would help their personal financial situation, it’s now 27 percent. While 53 percent thought he’d take the country in the right direction, it’s now 45 percent.
You get the idea. There are similar drops in views of his honesty (42 percent to 39 percent), his leadership skills (56 percent to 49 percent), his compassion for average Americans (51 percent to 44 percent), his levelheadedness (38 percent to 33 percent) and his ability to unite the country (47 percent to 40 percent).
And then it gets worse. Toward the bottom, Quinnipiac asked respondents whether they thought Trump’s behavior since the election made them feel better or worse about him. Although “better” won out in late November, 36 percent to 14 percent who said they felt worse, that showing has been flipped. Today, 28 percent say they feel worse about Trump since Election Day; just 23 percent feel better.
And clearly people still aren’t enamored of Trump’s social-media habits and fight-picking; by a 2-to-1 margin (64 percent to 32 percent), they think he should give up his personal Twitter account as president — bigger than the 59-to-35 margin in November.
Trump won the election, which in his mind — and in the minds of many analysts — would seem to have vindicated his brand of politics and many of the decisions he made on the campaign trail. He got elected, so it all must have been secret political genius!
That’s not really how things work, though. Trump squeaked his way into the White House with a very narrow win in which he got 46 percent of the vote, won the states he needed to by less than a point, and lost the national popular vote, as voters told pollsters said they had huge reservations about him.
People set aside those reservations a little after he was elected. This poll suggests that those concerns have returned, as real as ever. And that’s bad news for Trump’s political mandate 10 days before he’s sworn in.