Many Americans skeptical Donald Trump can handle presidential duties: Poll

January 4, 2017 7:30 pm

President-elect answers questions from the media after a day of meetings on December 28, 2016 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

Americans are skeptical that incoming US President Donald Trump can handle major presidential responsibilities, including dealing with challenging foreign policy matters such an international crisis or using military force, according to a new poll.
The findings, based on a Gallup poll conducted December 7-11, show that less than half of Americans are confident in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%).
Americans are far less confident in Trump in handling various presidential responsibilities than they were in his predecessors, the poll found. At least 70 percent of Americans were confident in Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before they took over the White House.
Among the seven issues tested in the poll, Americans are most confident in Trump to work effectively with Congress (60%) and handle the economy (59%).
The data also reflects a more polarized America than the one Obama or Bush faced when they came into office. The high political polarization and low trust in government will create a much more challenging presidency for Trump than for those who preceded him in the White House.
The latest Gallup poll is consistent with prior surveys showing Trump having a much lower favorable rating than prior incoming presidents.
Trump was one the most unpopular candidates ever nominated for president, according to opinion polls. His opponent in the 2016 presidential election race, Hillary Clinton, also had high unfavorable ratings.
Although Trump defied political experts as well as some historical election patterns in winning the presidency, it appears likely that he will begin his administration with far less support from the American people than other recent presidents have.
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