Gallup poll finds Trump a strong leader who keeps his promises

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Gallup released a new poll that largely contradicts President Donald Trump’s approval rating. According to the new Gallup poll that looks at Americans’ views of Trump’s characteristics and qualities released on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, Americans have a better view of Trump after his inauguration rather than before. Still, at the time, the poll was conducted Trump only had a 42 percent approval rating.

The poll found that a majority, 62 percent of Americans believe that President Trump “keeps his promises,” 59 percent think he “is a strong and decisive leader,” while 53 percent say he “can bring about the changes this country needs.” Trump gets less than stellar marks on some other qualities where a majority says they do not apply to him. Among those qualities, only 46 percent say the president “cares about the needs of people like you,” 44 percent say he “inspires confidence” and “Can manage the government effectively” while only 42 percent say he “is honest and trustworthy” with 57 percent disagreeing.

Gallup’s poll of seven presidential qualities and characteristics is similar to ones they conducted during the campaign that looked five of them. The typical American give the president most credit for are those according to Gallup that “reflect the key message of his inaugural address and his actions since taking office over three weeks ago.” Americans still have trust issues with Trump as they did during the presidential campaign and are still worried about his ability to manage the government especially after a chaotic first two weeks in office.

The last time, Gallup conducted a poll looking at presidential qualities and characteristics this early in a presidency was in 2001 with fellow Republican George W. Bush. Bush also came to power with much disarray, for a month the Electoral College votes in Florida kept the election in limbo, in the end, the Supreme Court decided in Republican Bush’s favor, while Democrat Al Gore lost the Electoral College vote and the election, but won the popular vote. Despite the divisive election, Bush had better approval numbers being his inauguration, and at the start of presidency faring betting than Trump in the presidential qualities and characteristics poll, they only are equal when it came to the question of being a “strong and decisive leader.”

The poll’s results are cut down partisan lines. Trump is a polarizing figure, with strong support from Republicans, but animosity from Democrats, who still feel the bitter sting of defeat. Republicans give Trump marks of 81 percent or better with all the qualities or characteristics, with a 91percent saying he keeps his promises and 94 percent saying he “is a strong and decisive leader.” Democrats give President Trump low marks and nothing above the 36 percent where they agree he keeps his promises and 29 percent that say he “is a strong and decisive leader,” with four characteristics and qualities in the teens and lower. Since the election, Republicans have become more positive on Trump, while the opinions of Democrats have mostly stayed the same.

Gallup finds the “Majorities of Americans believe President Donald Trump keeps his promises, is a strong and decisive leader, and can bring about changes the country needs. Trump scores worse on other characteristics and qualities: Less than half of Americans perceive him as honest and trustworthy, able to manage the government effectively, inspiring confidence and caring about the needs of people like themselves.” The poll concludes, “Overall, it appears that one of Trump’s most significant challenges will be to convince Americans that his hard-charging leadership style is ultimately going to be good for them and for the country.”

Trump Qualities and Characteristics:

Applies    Doesn’t apply

  • Keeps his promises    62    36
  • Is a strong and decisive leader    59    40
  • Can bring about the changes this country needs    53    46
  • Cares about the needs of people like you    46    54
  • Inspires confidence    44    55
  • Can manage the government effectively    44    55
  • Is honest and trustworthy    42    57

Gallup, Feb. 1-5, 2017

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