Trump’s approval rating is the lowest of any incoming president in nearly 25 years

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President-elect Donald Trump at the DeltaPlex Arena on December 9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition approval rating is lower than that of his predecessors over almost the past 25 years, according to a new Gallup poll.

Trump’s approval rating hovers around 48%, which is at least 17 percentage points lower than the lowest approval rating that any of the past three presidents had during his transition.

George W. Bush had a 65% approval rating when he first took office, Bill Clinton took office with a 67% rating, and Barack Obama entered with a 75% rating.

Trump’s disapproval rating of 48% during his transition is also the highest of any president in the past quarter-century. The Gallup study notes that a potential factor driving down the president-elect’s approval rating is that members of the opposing party are much more critical of Trump than they were of previous opponents.

Obama and Clinton had approval ratings of nearly 50% from members of the Republican Party, while Bush’s was almost 50% from Democrats.

According to the poll, Trump’s support among members of his own party, 86%, also lags behind Bush’s Republican support (93%). He also does significantly worse among independents than his predecessors did.

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Trump at a rally at the Ladd–Peebles Stadium on December 17 in Mobile, Alabama.
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Associated Press/Brynn Anderson

Trump could be in line to have the lowest job-approval rating upon taking office in Gallup’s polling history. Initial job-approval ratings for presidents generally tend to be about 8 points lower than their transition approval ratings, the study notes. To date, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have the lowest initial job-approval ratings, at 51% each.

The study notes that to boost his approval ratings, Trump will need the support of more Democrats and independents, many of whom are wary of his Cabinet picks. His nominee for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, has drawn sharp criticism from many Democrats and some Republicans for his close ties to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

His other Cabinet picks, many of whom are bankers, lobbyists, and climate-change deniers, have drawn the ire of prominent progressives like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.