Following the election, Americans respond to forthcoming changing of the guard

     President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

    President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

    NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

    Post-election, Americans say the most important problems facing the nation are: the economy, the election process itself and divisiveness Trump brought in, race, healthcare, and the dysfunctional government.

    One impact of the election of Donald Trump has been an uptick in Americans’ confidence in the economy, reaching as high as it has been in almost two years. This fits with Americans’ expectations that Trump will be able to improve the economy, the issue on which Americans are more positive than any other when they look to a Trump presidency.

    Obama’ approval rating last week jumped to its highest point in four years (for a weekly average). Some of this was already occurring prior to the election, but Obama got a lame duck presidential election bounce as well, which is normal. Most lame ducks — G.W. Bush, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush, Ronald Regan — see their approval ratings improve after the final election when they are in office.

    Satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. is down after the election, driven primarily by Democrats’ drop in satisfaction.

    Trump’s image has rebounded some, to the highest since he began his campaign in 2015, but is still underwater and on track to the be the lowest of any president just elected for whom we have records. We have measured Trump’s image off and on since the late 1990s and it has always – with one exception – been more negative than positive.

    The image of the Republican party did not improve after the election. The Democratic party still has the image edge, as it has for most of the past four years. This is despite the fact that Republicans now will control the White House and both Houses of Congress.

    The image of Paul Ryan, who has been re-nominated again by his party as Speaker of the House, is up to a new high, and he is more popular than Trump.

    Vice President-elect Mike Pence also has a better image than Trump.

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