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Most Americans Don't Believe Trump Has 'Mandate'

Though Donald Trump campaigned with promises of radical change, a majority of Americans believe that the President-elect should compromise with Democrats rather than implementing radical new policies, a poll found.

According to the Washington Post-Schar School national poll, conducted between Nov. 11 and 14 and released on Nov. 16, 59 percent of respondents said that Trump should compromise with Democrats when the minority party strongly opposes aspects of his proposals, while 29 percent said that he needs to stand by each element of the agenda he campaigned with and bring significant change.

Following a divisive election, the results reflect a far different sentiment than the one measured in 2008, when a full 50 percent of respondents told the Post that President Barack Obama had a mandate to enact sweeping new policies after he ran a campaign on the notion of change. And after George W. Bush narrowly won the 2000 election, a full 41 percent said the same of him.

But after Trump coasted to an overwhelming victory in the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, more than seven in 10 Americans said that either campaign made them angry, while more than 50 percent said that campaign news stressed them out.

Nearly 90 percent said that they had been dissatisfied with the country over the last few years, while eight in 10 called for massive change and more than six in 10 said that they expected such changes in the capitol over the course of his presidency. More than half of respondents were optimistic about the nation's immediate future.

When asked about issues of overreach, 30 percent said that the President-elect would likely take things too far, while 48 percent trust his judgment to find the correct balance.

"The polling numbers are telling him he should be acting more carefully," said one of the survey's collaborators, Justin Gest, a professor at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government, according to the Post. "That is statistically significantly lower than when Bush won despite losing the popular vote in 2000."

However, since Trump's victory, more Americans said that they are confident in his ability to lead the country. A Gallup Poll that was released on Nov. 16 found that 51 percent were "more confident" in Trump's ability to be a good president, with 19 percent of those who supported Hillary Clinton saying the same.

Sources: Washington Post, Gallup / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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