President-elect Donald Trump approaches Inauguration Day with a significantly lower favorable rating than his three immediate predecessors received when they were presidents-elect. Trump's 40% favorable rating is roughly half of what Barack Obama enjoyed before his inauguration in 2009 (78%) and is much lower than the pre-inaugural ratings for George W. Bush (62%) and Bill Clinton (66%).
The latest findings were collected in a Jan. 4-8 Gallup poll.
Of the four most recent incoming presidents, Trump is the only president-elect whose unfavorable rating outweighs his favorable score; a majority of 55% of Americans hold a negative view of Trump, compared with 18% who did so for Obama, 26% for Clinton and 36% for Bush. Gallup has asked favorable and unfavorable ratings for key figures in this format since 1992, so only comparisons to Clinton, Bush and Obama are available.
Trump's latest favorable rating -- along with his post-election November and December ratings -- remains slightly higher than during the course of the presidential campaign, when it never rose above 38%, including 34% in the week before the election. The three previous presidents-elect also saw improvement in their images after winning the election. Obama's favorable image increased 16 percentage points, Clinton's rose 15 points and Bush's seven points between Gallup's final pre-election poll and its last pre-inauguration poll in prior transfers of power.