Donald Trump starts his presidency Friday with the lowest-ever ratings for an incoming president, but also with some signs of increasing optimism for the country, according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
A majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they disapprove of the way President-elect Trump has handled his transition and preparations for the presidency, versus just 44 percent who approve, which is down six points from only a month ago.
To put Trump’s numbers into perspective, Barack Obama’s approval rating was 71 percent before he took the oath of office in January 2009, and Bill Clinton’s was 77 percent in December 1992. The NBC/WSJ poll didn’t measure George W. Bush during his transition; his first job-approval rating, in March 2001, was 57 percent.
In addition, just 38 percent of Americans have a positive view of Trump, while 48 percent have a negative one , making him the most unpopular incoming president in the history of the NBC/WSJ poll.
And just three-in-10 Americans have a high level of confidence that Trump has the right set of goals and priorities, as well as right set of personal characteristics, to be president.