Gallup poll shows Trump approval ratings low but holding, and still better than Congress

    President-elect Donald Trump during a rally at the Giant Center, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    President-elect Donald Trump during a rally at the Giant Center, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in Hershey, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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

    Donald Trump’s image has not improved since the immediate post-election period; he was at 34 percent favorable just before the election, 42 percent just after, and still stuck at 42 percent in a just completed survey.

    Additionally, a long-term Gallup trend question asking Americans how newly-election presidents are handling their transition shows that Trump gets lower ratings than Bill Clinton in 1992, George W. Bush in 2000, or Barack Obama in 2008. At this point 48 percent of Americans approve of how Trump is handling his transition, while 48 percent disapprove. The most positive transition approval rating was Obama in December 2008, with 75 percent approving.

    An analysis of these data and the first approval rating a new president gets after his inauguration indicates that Trump will most — if things do not change dramatically — have the lowest “honeymoon” approval ratings in late January and early February of any newly elected president Gallup has measured.

    Congress approval averaged 17 percent in 2016, well below the 31percent average since 1974. Even though Republicans control both houses of Congress, there is virtually no difference in the low ratings given Congress by Republicans and Democrats.  After a drop in 2012-2015 in the percentage of Americans identifying as middle class — a subjective measure — the middle class has come back. Now, 58 percent of Americans call themselves either middle class or upper-middle class.  It was 51percent in those earlier years.

    News reports this year have indicated an uptick in the sales of actual printed books after years of decline.

    New Gallup data show that the number of books read by Americans has remained remarkably steady over the past 15 years and — confirming the reports — most Americans say they read printed books rather than e-books and audio books.

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