Approval Ratings: Obama More Popular Than Trump


New polling indicates that President Barack Obama will exit office near the peak of his popularity, with respondents viewing him more favorably than his successor, President-elect Donald Trump, by a double-digit margin.

On Jan. 10, a new survey conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 55 percent of registered voters approve of Obama's job performance while 39 percent disapprove. This net positive favorability of 16 percentage points is the highest level of approval that the polling group has found for Obama in the past seven years.

Meanwhile, only 37 percent of respondents approve of Trump's performance as a president-elect transitioning into office while 51 percent disapprove. Trump's net negative favorability rating of 14 percentage points is a notable drop from a Quinnipiac poll released on Nov. 22, when 44 percent of respondents of respondents viewed him favorably while 46 percent viewed him unfavorably.

Overall, the survey found that Obama is currently more popular than his successor by 18 percentage points.

"President Barack Obama leaves the White House a lot more popular than Donald Trump is as he crosses the threshold and saddles up for the most important job in the world," said assistant director Tim Malloy of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Breaking down the respondents' views on the president-elect, the data indicates that voters believe that Trump has solid leadership skills but are deeply concerned about his character.

About half of respondents -- 49 percent -- believe that he has good leadership skills, while 71 percent believe that he is a strong person and 68 percent believe that he is intelligent. Meanwhile, 53 percent believe that he is dishonest, 62 percent believe that he does not have a good temperament and 52 percent believe that he does not have empathy for average Americans.

"President-elect Trump gets strength and intelligence, but voters' feelings about his personality traits, empathy, leadership and level-headedness are headed south," Malloy noted.

In other results, the polls showed that 45 percent of respondents believe that Trump will fare worse than Obama as president, 34 percent believe that he will be an improvement, and 15 percent believe he will turn in a similar job performance.

When aggregating the national polls released since Dec. 7, 2016, RealClearPolitics found that Trump has an average approval rating of 42.8 percentage points, although there have been fewer surveys released in January, when the afterglow of winning an election typically begins to fade.

Meanwhile, aggregating the last 10 national polls released during the same timeframe, RealClearPolitics found that Obama currently has an average approval rating of 53.9 percentage points.

Sources: Quinnipiac University Poll, RealClearPolitics (2) / Photo Credit: Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons

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