One of the main talking points surrounding the 2016 election was the remarkable fact that the two major party candidates were some of the least popular ever to run for office. That may still be true, but after the nation has been given a couple of weeks to settle down, the latest Morning Consult survey finds that the President Elect’s popularity might not be quite as low as you were guessing. Granted, he’s still nowhere near as much of a favorite as bacon, but his approval numbers are creeping up toward the break even point. (You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom since this is the last question they covered for some reason.)
Trump’s popularity has increased since he was elected president. In a Morning Consult/POLITICO poll just before the election, 37 percent of voters said they had a favorable view of Trump, while 61 percent reported an unfavorable view of the then-candidate. After the election, the number of people reporting an unfavorable view of Trump dropped 15 points, to 46 percent. Trump also saw a nine point increase in voters saying they had a favorable view of him, also to 46 percent.
Trump’s favorability among voters has reached new highs since he became president-elect,” said Morning Consult Cofounder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “This honeymoon phase is common for new presidents. For example, Obama saw about a 20 point swing in his favor following the 2008 election.”
The poll consisted of 1,885 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
I’m pretty sure it was a given that no matter who won, they weren’t going to be entering office with anything north of 50 in terms of popularity, but with the rancor of the election largely behind many rank and file voters, this is a quicker upturn than I was expecting. Of course, the partisan divide is still huge. 82% of Republicans have either a very or somewhat favorable view of Trump, while it’s 17% for Democrats. Independents are coming around, clocking in at 40%. (By comparison, just as an interesting side note, Keith Ellison has a 16% approval rating with fully half the country having never heard of him.)
So what accounts for the uptick? Most likely it’s just the usual honeymoon period that election winners get. There’s been plenty of coverage of the potential nominations Trump will make for various cabinet positions, but none of that is official yet. Perhaps it’s just the fact that he seems to have softened his tone a bit (with the exception of Hamilton, of course) and people are settling into the idea of him in the Oval Office.
The poll also found that Americans aren’t too sure about the Trump children being involved in the administration, receiving Top Secret security clearances and all the rest. 62% have no problem with his family continuing to run Trump’s private business empire, but only 32% think they should have posts in the administration. That sounds about right to me because as much as I’m sure he loves and trusts his family, it just looks bad, smacks of nepotism (if they have taxpayer funded offices) and flies in the face of the fact that nobody voted for any of them. (Or the incoming First Lady for that matter.) People voted for or against Donald Trump and that’s who will be responsible and accountable for our fortunes starting next year.
There’s a host of other people with fresh approval ratings in there, including both Republicans and Democrats. Feel free to browse through. The bottom line is that almost nobody in government is all that popular these days. And, even more depressingly, a large portion of the country has never heard of most of these people or have no opinion about them if they have.