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Trump Faces a Confidence Deficit

Via Gallup:  Many in U.S. Skeptical Trump Can Handle Presidential Duties

As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%). At least seven in 10 Americans were confident in Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in these areas before they took office.

More numbers at the link.

Now, it is certainly possible that the public is mistaken in their prevailing opinions, but it is not surprising that an amateur (in regards to government service) who lost the popular vote enters office with the majority of the population harboring some doubts about his capacity to govern.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mr. Prosser says:

    I don’t think the public is “mistaken in their prevailing opinions” rather what started out as a large part of the electorate giving a giant finger to both parties on the assumption Trump wouldn’t win now have buyer’s remorse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  2. gVOR08 says:

    I see the crosstabs are about as one would expect:
    – Handle int’l crisis: R 81% / D 17
    – Use force wisely: R84 / D 17
    – Prevent major scandals: R 77 / D 14

    So about 80% of Republicans have confidence Trump can handle the job, along with about 45% of “Independents” and 16% of Ds. On these questions the poll says about 46% overall have confidence. I assume for any poll that 10% didn’t understand the question or are jerking the pollster around. But it still looks like we need to update the Crazification Factor from 27% to about 35%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. @gVOR08: I meant to comment on this: I think what we see here is that usually a chunk of voters from the other party, even if they oppose a given president, think that they have the basic qualifications for office. For Trump, not so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I don’t even know that I would give him credit for being able to decide what to have for breakfast on a day to day basis. Even so, I think it’s time for a short moratorium on Trump bashing so that we won’t have worn out our welcome in 23 or 24 days when things start to get interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  5. Guarneri says:

    Why of course, who would want an executive when you can have a community organizer, university guest lecturer and short time senator of scant accomplishment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  6. Rick Zhang says:

    @gVOR08:

    Another data point reinforcing the trend of partisanship trumping sanity. We’re rapidly descending into tribalism and groupthink. Both liberals and conservatives cluster around other likeminded people, whether in real life or social media, and are rarely exposed to respectable people with an opposing viewpoint. Even when they are, it’s easier to tune out that person than to agree to disagree or agree on some points and disagree on others.

    Interesting side note: In the wealthy Bay Area, where I currently live, there is significant disdain among all races for Trump voters, whom we view as “heartland rednecks”. Conservatives talk about makers and takers all the time, but here we view ourselves as the makers and taxpayers, and lazy deadbeats (of all races, but mostly white) in the Trump states as the takers.

    The very visible immigrants, on the other hand, are quietly working hard to realize the American dream, which is still very much alive here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    And most important to you, Trump is white and Obama is not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  8. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri:

    Why of course, who would want an executive when you can have a community organizer, university guest lecturer and short time senator of scant accomplishment?

    I don’t know, dude. Why would we?

    Or am I asking this question of the wrong person?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. al-Alameda says:

    As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%). At least seven in 10 Americans were confident in Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in these areas before they took office.

    Considering that Trump did not get a majority of the popular vote it is not surprising, in light of his post election behavior, that a majority of those polled do not express confidence in him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:

    Why of course, who would want an failed executive when you can have a community organizer, university guest lecturer and short time senator of scant accomplishment?

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: Perfect example of polarization of news and perception. G, and so many others, will tell you Trump will be a good president because he’s a great businessman, despite massive evidence that he’s not even a mediocre businessman. Something slightly over half of Rs believe Trump won the popular vote, which is as simple a T/F matter of fact as one can get.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: Please jot down a list of what you have accomplished in your life.

    Then compare to what President Obama has done so far.

    Embarrassed yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. george says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    I’m not so sure its buyers remorse; for a lot of the people giving the finger, Trump’s unsuitability is a feature, not a bug. That’s what made voting for him the electoral equivalent of the finger.

    For others, who voted for Trump because they vote for their team (in this case team GOP), suitability doesn’t come into the picture at all; if its your team you support it, whatever you think of the players.

    Its only those who voted for him because they really weren’t following the election at all (and such people exist – you need only look at the 50% of the people who didn’t vote at all if you doubt it) who are (or soon will be) having second thoughts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. gVOR08 says:

    @george:

    I’m not so sure its buyers remorse

    Except for the odd Trump voter who just figured out the GOPs might actually kill their health insurance, I’m not seeing much buyer’s remorse. The desire to give everybody the finger persists. I’ve said before that Trump was a perfect candidate for people who had no idea what the prez does, and they still don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0