Open primary navigation menu

Public Sentiment


Ahead of Inauguration Day and the Women’s March on Washington, satisfaction with Barack Obama increased as his second term ends.  At the same time optimism for the next president has stayed about the same as measured after the election in December, according to online polls conducted by the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent.

National polls conducted by the Fishlinger Center will continue to examine public attitudes toward Donald Trump, particularly in the period after the inauguration when presidents typically experience a honeymoon period.

Graphic titled:"Percent who say they are extremely or very"

Comparison to Previous Elections
President elect’s ratings don’t necessarily improve during the pre-inaugural period. Mr. Trump is atypical because his numbers are so low. Here are some past president-elect favorable ratings for comparison:

Dates Dates Organization
11/9-12/2016 Trump-42 1/12-15/2017 Trump-40 Gallup/ABC News
12/1-2/2008 Obama-76 1/12-15/2009 Obama-78 CNN
12/2-4/2000 Bush – 56 1/15-16/2001 Bush -62 Gallup
11/10-11/1992 Clinton – 60 1/18-19/1993 Clinton – 66 Gallup
11/10-16/1988 Bush-59 1/12-16/89 Bush –  65 Gallup/ABC News

It is not usual for outgoing president to be rated better than incoming one, but usually not by much, with a few exceptions.

Dates Outgoing President Incoming President Organization
11/30-12/5/2016 Obama-64 Trump-37 Pew
1/11-15/2009 Bush-26 Obama-60 NYT/CBS
1/10-11/2001 Clinton – 53 Bush -58 Time/CNN
1/18-19/1993 Bush – 62 Clinton – 66 Gallup
1/12-15/1989 Reagan – 67 Bush –  70 Cambridge
1/1981 Carter -45 Reagan – 60 Cambridge

Survey Methodology
The Fishlinger Center conducts online national surveys focusing on political issues in the United States. The fieldwork for the polls is conducted using a blended national panel from Survey Sampling Inc.  Interviews for the latest polls were conducted Nov. 29 through Dec. 15 with 490 adults and Jan.2 through Jan.18. The credibility interval for each poll is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

In addition to credibility interval, the polls are subject to other potential sources of error including, but not limited to coverage and measurement error. Data were rim weighted to match the national population on age, sex, Hispanic origin and race. Question wording and topline results are available at

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. The Center, a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), conducts deep and broad studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research conducted by students, faculty, and other members of the academic community.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.