President Donald Trump has cemented strong views about his leadership just four weeks into his presidency, a new poll by the Pew Research Center found. Just 39% of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance at the helm of the federal government, with 75% of those polled strongly expressing their views.
Trump, who had messy rollouts on a few executive actions and currently has a White House in turmoil, is edging close to George W. Bush’s nadir in 2008. The survey showed that many Americans convey concern on Trump’s bungled execution of the executive order regarding immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.
Nearly 60% of the country does not support the policy of the travel ban, which also encountered strong resistance in federal courts across the country and was eventually blocked. More than 70% say its execution was not handled well.
Even support from the opposing party has reached new lows in three decades for the new president, with just 8% of Democrats approving of him compared to 84%of Republicans.
Unsurprisingly, nearly 60% of Americans acknowledge that Trump has kept his promises—a rare feat among politicians. But what is concerning, especially regarding the presidency, is the operating style of the brain behind the throne.
A dismal 28% say Trump is even-headed. A sharp contrast from the ‘no-drama Obama’ who conveyed calm and serenity to the point of aloofness, both in temperament and governing style. Trump’s opposite approach has left many in Washington reeling with the quick change of pace.
To put the contrast in perspective, nearly 80% of Americans found Obama to be well-informed and trustworthy in the first year of his presidency. But almost 40% of Americans said the same about Trump. However, the poll does not specify whether Trump himself or his administration is untrustworthy and well-informed.
Trump, who has an unusual ability to connect with voters from a wide swath of society, finds himself with 34% of Americans thinking of him as a good communicator. While not a surprise, 92% of Americans labeled Obama as a good communicator. However, one has to consider that many Americans are incredibly sensitive with political correctness, which has spiked to new levels with the dawn of the Trump era.
The sharp contrast may come from the fact that Trump doesn’t spend hours drafting moving speeches and obsessing over every word like his predecessor. He prefers to aggressively communicate from his heart (not his brain) through 140 words on Twitter before most Americans are awake, most of time attacking his enemies—real or perceived.
Shifting to what matters most: the economy. 42% of Americans have a positive view of the country’s current economic condition. A bar of measurement that matters more than communication style, temperament or likability. Trump can and has capitalized on this; just look at the new highs on Wall-street.
The challenge for the billionaire president is to make the economy work like a “fine tuned” machine, and Americans will be happy. Last time I checked, the thickness of Americans’ wallets mattered more than political correctness, likability, communications skills, or the president’s perceived intelligence.