Thirty-six percent of voters approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling his job in his first week, according to a new poll that reflects a sharp divide along partisan lines.
Democrats, for the most part, aren’t giving President Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. | Getty
Poll shows Trump with 36 percent job approval for first five days
01/26/17 01:33 PM EST
The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted over the first five nights of Trump’s presidency — last Friday through Wednesday — shows that a larger percentage, 44 percent, disapprove of Trump’s job performance. Nineteen percent are undecided in the poll, which was released Thursday.
Democrats, for the most part, aren’t giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, even at the outset of his four-year term. Only 4 percent of Democratic voters surveyed approve of Trump’s job performance, while the vast majority, 77 percent, disapprove. Nineteen percent are undecided.
Republicans, however, are lining up behind Trump early on. Eighty-one percent of GOP voters approve of the way he is handling his job as president, while 3 percent disapprove and 15 percent are undecided.
Independents tilt against Trump: 35 percent approve, but 45 percent disapprove, with 1 in 5 undecided.
Many of the other divisions among voters during the election season have carried over to Trump’s first week in office. While men approve of Trump by a narrow margin — 41 percent approval versus 38 percent disapproval — one-third of female voters approve of Trump, compared with half who disapprove.
And though white voters are marginally behind Trump — 43 percent approval versus 40 percent disapproval — the wide chasm between white- and blue-collar whites remains. Thirty-four percent of white voters with college degrees approve of Trump’s job performance; 52 percent of whites without degrees approve.
The intensity gap behind these initial perceptions works against Trump: The percentage of voters who say they “strongly disapprove” of Trump, 40 percent, is larger than the 29 percent who “strongly approve” of his performance.
Trump’s approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll is lower than in some other surveys conducted in the early days of his administration. The latest Gallup tracking poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday, shows the percentage of all adults who approve of Trump (46 percent) is essentially equal to the percentage who disapprove (45 percent). That resembles a new automated-phone poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. And a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted last Friday through Sunday gave Trump a higher approval rating (46 percent) than disapproval rating (37 percent) among registered voters.
The Quinnipiac poll also shows 50 percent of voters think Trump will be a worse president than the man he replaced last week, Barack Obama, while 37 percent think Trump will be a better president than Obama.
But a majority of voters, 53 percent, are still generally optimistic about the next four years under Trump, while 43 percent are generally pessimistic about the next four years. And more voters think Trump’s policies will help the nation’s economy (44 percent) than think they will hurt the economy (36 percent). Fourteen percent think Trump’s policies won’t make a difference in the economy.
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,190 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.