President Donald Trump does not appear to be earning many new fans on his way out of office. In a newly released Gallup survey, just 42 percent of respondents said that they approved of Trump — while in the same survey, a full 55 percent of respondents said that they approved of President-elect Joe Biden. Trump’s number is slightly lower than his pre-election approval level, while Biden’s is slightly higher than his number from the same point. Just before the election, Trump was at 45 percent, and Biden was at 49 percent. According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of relevant polls, Trump’s approval level has not passed 50 percent at any point since the time immediately following his 2017 inauguration — meaning Biden’s popularity has already surpassed Trump’s during his presidency.
In the new Gallup survey, Biden enjoyed slight increases in his approval level among both independents and Republicans. In Gallup polling, the portion of independents who approve of the new president-elect went from 48 percent to 55 percent, while the portion of Republicans approving of Biden went from 6 percent to 12 percent. On the flip side, Republicans’ approval of Donald Trump dipped slightly, moving from 95 percent to 89 percent.
Biden has been moving forward with key preparations to take over the presidency in January following his inauguration. He has publicly revealed his nominees for a number of key posts, from Secretary of State to, more recently, Secretary of the Treasury. Biden’s nominees — assuming that they’re confirmed — will face a steep task of piecing together what’s left behind from the Trump administration’s nearly constant chaos. At departments across the government, Trump loyalists have wreaked havoc. As the Trump administration draws to a close, the outgoing president’s team has been pushing some drastic last-minute policy changes. Matthew Kent, who works with the government watchdog group Public Citizen, recently said that the “bottom line is the Trump administration is trying to get things published in the Federal Register, leaving the next administration to sort out the mess.”
There’s another important election date on the horizon — January 5, when voters will decide the fate of both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats, which Republicans currently hold. Democratic victories in both seats would mean Democratic control of the Senate, because the chamber would be 50-50, but the vice president — who in this case would be Kamala Harris — breaks ties.