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Most People Are Optimistic about a Donald Trump Presidency

GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Tampa, FloridaGOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Tampa, Florida
Donald Trump hugs the American flag during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida.Photo by Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Most people have a positive attitude toward President-elect Donald Trump.

That’s according to a new CNN/ORC poll conducted between Nov. 17 and Nov. 20. More than 1,000 people answered whether or not they thought Trump would make a good president, and a slight majority (53%) said they think he’ll do a fairly good or very good job. When people were asked the same question before President Obama was inaugurated in 2008, that number was closer to 80%.

Trump ran his campaign on the basis that, as a businessman, he understands the economy. When survey participants were asked about whether they’re confident in his ability to deal with the economy, 65% said they either had a lot or some confidence. Again, for Obama, that statistic was at 80%. Americans were also more confident in Obama’s ability to handle foreign affairs, appoint the best people to office, and provide real leadership for the country.

Both Trump and Obama ran their campaigns as change candidates. And when asked whether they think Trump will actually change the country, 43% of respondents answered that he would do so for the better. In 2008, 63% said the same of Obama. Meanwhile, 21% think that Trump will change the country for the worse, compared to Obama’s 9%.

As for promises he made during his campaign, survey respondents were only confident that he’d be able to accomplish a few—73% said he’s at least somewhat likely to repeal and replace Obamacare; 64% said the same for renegotiating NAFTA; and 60% said he’s at least somewhat likely to create good-paying jobs in economically challenged areas. Respondents were fairly split when it came to their confidence in his ability to reduce corruption in Washington, build a wall on the border between Mexico and the U.S., and defeat ISIS.


Perhaps reflective of how divided Americans are, nearly the same amount of people approve of the way Trump is handling his transition as those who disapprove. Similarly, while 48% say that his behavior since Election Day has made them more confident in his ability to be president, 43% said the opposite.

One aspect of Trump’s impending presidency that has been concerning for some has been his decision to hand over the Trump Organization to his children (who are also his closest advisers) rather than placing it in a blind trust. Of this decision, 59% of respondents said he isn’t doing enough to eliminate conflicts of interest.

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Despite all this, Trump’s favorability is higher than it’s ever been at 47%. Still, 50% of survey respondents said the candidate was unfavorable. Meanwhile, 38% thought Vice President-elect Mike Pence was unfavorable—the highest it’s been since he joined forces with Trump.