U.S. President-elect Donald Trump listens to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday. Trump's handling of the presidential transition is rated the worst among the last four incoming presidents-elect, according to polling by Gallup. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- One week before the inauguration, Americans' approval rating of President-elect Donald Trump's handling of the presidential transition remains the lowest since Gallup began polling in 1992 and has fallen in the past month.
Gallup, which has tracked the public's approval rating for each new incoming president since Bill Clinton, found fewer than half of Americans, 44 percent, approve of how Trump has handled the transition. By contrast, a slim majority, 51 percent, disapprove of his transition.
One in three independents give him a positive rating and just 13 percent of self-identified Democrats shared a positive opinion of how things have gone since the election. As was the case during the election, Trump's solid base of support during the transition comes from self-identified Republicans, 87 percent of whom rate his transition period approvingly.
A month ago, Americans were evenly split at 48 percent apiece on the question of how Trump was handling the transition.
Trump's rating is the lowest of the four incoming presidents Gallup has surveyed.
The high-water mark for an incoming president was 2009, when President-elect Barack Obama garnered 83 percent approval for his handling of the transition of power from George W. Bush.
Unlike Trump, the three prior presidents-elect have enjoyed a holiday in public polling after their victories. Even George W. Bush, just days after the divisive 2000 Florida recount ended, polled well above his margin of victory over Al Gore on the question of handling the transition, with 61 percent of Americans rating his transition period favorably just prior to his inauguration in 2001. Like Trump, Bush also failed to win the popular vote in 2001, though Gallup found most Americans still gave Bush approving marks for how he handled the lame-duck stage of Clinton's presidency.
Trump's Cabinet designees have garnered slightly more support than Trump himself, with 52 percent rating them "average" or better. A whopping 44 percent said they are "below average" or "poor" -- more than three times higher than the number of Americans who disapproved of the Cabinets assembled by Obama, Bush or Clinton. During the three prior incoming presidential administrations, a plurality of Americans rated the incoming Cabinet members as "average."
Gallup surveyed 1,032 Americans on land lines and cellphones from Jan. 4 to 8. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.