Donald Trump’s popularity – or lack thereof – is no secret.
Indeed, the billionaire real-estate mogul is a true love or hate president-elect – adored by some, loathed by others.
He rode a wave of new found voter enthusiasm and working class discontent all the way to White House as the man who would “give you everything.”
But for every voice speaking out in his favour, there appears to be an equal number riling against him. Polls have suggested that Trump has possibly the lowest approval rating of any incoming president in four decades.
One could have guessed, perhaps, that the man who won the election despite losing the popular vote by 2.9 million votes might not have as much approval has those who came before him.
However, Gallup polling shows that just 48 percent of the American public approve of the way in which the controversial Republican is handling his transition – the lowest in the company’s history.
Although its transition approval ratings only date back to Bill Clinton’s first term in 1992, the data illustrates a huge disparity between the president-elect and his predecessors.
President Barack Obama, for example, from whom Trump will take over the role on Friday, had a 75 percent approval rating in the interim period between his election in 2008 and his inauguration in January 2009.
At the time, just 17 percent of those surveyed by Gallup disapproved of the way Obama conducted business in the run up to being sworn in.
Similarly, George W. Bush – a republican who himself had his fair share of electoral controversy in his close campaign battle with Al Gore – and Bill Clinton also received majority approval ratings in the lead up to the ceremony, with 65 percent and 67 percent respectively.
Trump is the first president-elect in Gallup’s history to receive an equal approval and disapproval rating upon entering office.
While Obama’s overall approval rating averaged out at 48 percent – the lowest of the five most recent presidents – if polls are to be believed, Trump is not starting out with strong footing among the American public.
‘Rigged just like before’
As with most things Trump disapproves of, the president-elect took to Twitter to rebuff the poll results, saying they were “rigged” by the “same people who did the phony election polls”.
The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
However, the president-elect cannot hide from the other opinions polls which also show him to be lagging behind those who came before.
A recent survey by the Quinnipiac University polling organisation put Trump’s approval rating at just 37 per cent – the lowest ever recorded for an incoming president.
Likewise, according to a poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, Trump is the least popular president in four decades, with just a 40 percent of those surveyed viewing him favourably.
Proof is not necessarily in the poll
Last year was not a good year for pollsters.
Having failed to call both the result of the presidential race, and the UK’s European Union referendum – two of the biggest political upsets in recent history – their credibility has been somewhat dashed.
However, the key difference here lies in the point of comparison.
While accuracy and, thus, credibility are key, comparing Trump’s approval rating with that of previous president-elect gives a good indication of how he stands compared to his predecessors.
Rigged or not, Trump will have to prove himself in the Oval Office if he is to seek a second term in four years time.