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Donald Trump’s historic levels of unpopularity, charted

AP Photo/Cliff Owen
People have thoughts about him.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The latest survey by Gallup suggests that Donald Trump is wildly unpopular for someone who is about to take the oath of office as US president.

Charted here are the pre-inauguration approval ratings for the US president-elect and his three immediate predecessors, based on polls taken the week before each man’s inauguration. Even George W. Bush, who like Trump didn’t win the popular vote, still enjoyed a much higher approval rating in the days before his first swearing-in.

But beyond the outsize disapproval ratings for an incoming president, there is another remarkable trend here: Since Obama’s election in 2008, there have been barely any Americans left who would claim to have no opinion of their incoming president.

Let’s zoom in on the numbers:

PresidentPercent of Americans with no opinion
Bill Clinton15%
George W. Bush14%
Barack Obama5%
Donald Trump4%

It might be a function of the internet and social media, which make it easier to access information and arguably have gotten people a lot more comfortable with sharing their thoughts and picking sides. Or it might be a sign of just how polarizing the last two men elected president have been. But it’s an especially striking result considering nearly half of American voters stayed home on election night in 2016 despite having, it appears, political opinions.

As for Trump, he can take solace in at least having some company at the high end of the disapproval ratings scale. Americans surveyed by Gallup also have low consideration for Trump’s cabinet picks—44% of people interviewed consider them “poor” or “below average.” Only 13% said the same for Bush’s picks, 12% for Clinton’s picks, and 10% for Obama’s picks.

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