Americans remain lukewarm about Donald Trump’s performance as President-elect. Nearly half the country thinks he’s already saved jobs from going abroad. And there’s one more Senate race left in the 2016 election. This is HuffPollster for Friday, December 9, 2016.
APPROVAL OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION LOWER THAN THAT FOR PAST PRESIDENTS – Pew Research: “Nearly a month after Donald Trump’s election as president, the public views his transition to the White House less positively than those of past presidents-elect. And while expectations for Trump’s presidency have improved since before his victory, about as many Americans say Trump will be a poor or terrible president as a good or great one….40% approve of Trump’s cabinet choices and high-level appointments, while 41% approve of the job he has done so far in explaining his policies and plans for the future. In December 2008, 71% of Americans approved of Barack Obama’s cabinet choices, and 58% expressed positive views of George W. Bush’s high-level appointments in January 2001, prior to his inauguration. Similarly, higher shares approved of the way that both Obama (72%) and Bush (50%) explained their policies and plans for the future than say that about Trump today.” [Pew]
Outlook for his presidency is growing more positive, but concerns persist – More from Pew: “Overall, 35% of Americans think Trump will be a good or great president; 18% say he will be average, while 38% say he will be poor or terrible. However, these assessments are far more positive than they were throughout the campaign: In October, just 25% of the public said Trump would make a good or great president, while 57% said he would be poor or terrible….Majorities continue to say Trump is reckless (65%) and has poor judgment (62%), while 68% describe him as ‘hard to like.’ In addition, more than half of the public (54%) says that Trump has done too little to distance himself from ‘white nationalist groups’ who support him, while 31% say he has done the right amount to distance himself from such groups; 6% say he has done too much in this regard. There also is broad public agreement that the president-elect will need to be more cautious in expressing his views once he takes office.” [Pew]
TRUMP’S CARRIER DEAL GETS GENERALLY POSITIVE MARKS – HuffPollster, with Arthur Delaney: “Nearly half of Americans believe President-elect Donald Trump has already stopped U.S. jobs from being shipped abroad. In a HuffPost/YouGov survey conducted after the announcement of the Carrier deal, 46 percent of Americans said that Trump has stopped some jobs from being offshored since the Nov. 8 election, while 24 percent said he has not. Another 29 percent weren’t sure…Other polls asking specifically about Carrier have delivered mixed results about the public’s reaction. A recent Morning Consult survey found that the deal left 60 percent of voters feeling more favorably toward Trump, while an Economist/YouGov poll found that just 38 percent of Americans approved of the deal. Some of that difference likely comes down to how each of the questions was framed.” [HuffPost]
MOST AMERICANS SAY TRUMP SHOULDN’T HAVE TO SELL HIS COMPANIES TO BE PRESIDENT – HuffPollster: “President-elect Donald Trump has promised on Twitter to remove himself from his business dealings to avoid a conflict of interest but has not mentioned any intention to sell his companies. That plan seems to satisfy most Americans, a new Bloomberg poll indicates. By and large, Americans say it’s necessary for Trump to choose between being president and being a businessman. But 69 percent think asking him to sell his businesses goes too far. Only 26 percent of those surveyed think he needs to sell his companies to eliminate a conflict of interest.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP VOTERS PREFER A CABINET WITHOUT GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE – HuffPollster: “Americans, particularly those who voted for Donald Trump, are skeptical of civil service workers and the concept that expertise is an asset for government work, according to the results of a new HuffPost/YouGov survey….Although 39 percent want Trump to appoint people who have experience working in government, 24 percent would prefer he nominate people without previous government experience, and 38 percent were unsure or say it doesn’t matter to them. Trump voters say by a 32-point margin ― 49 percent to 17 percent ― that they’d prefer to see him appoint people who have not previously worked for the government.” [HuffPost]
LOUISIANA’S SENATE RUNOFF SATURDAY LOOKS LIKELY TO GO REPUBLICAN – Harry Enten: “On Saturday, Louisiana will hold runoff elections for the U.S. House and Senate. The marquee matchup is the Senate runoff between Republican John Neely Kennedy, the state treasurer, and Democrat Foster Campbell, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. It’s Kennedy’s third run for Senate, and it’s the Democrats’ last chance to narrow the GOP majority in the Senate — if Campbell wins, Republicans will have a 51-to-49 seat advantage — and derail Donald Trump’s agenda as much as they can. A look at several indicators, however, suggests that the third time will be the charm for Kennedy. Since the first round of voting in Louisiana’s Senate race on Nov. 8 (the state holds an all-parties primary, with the top two finishers advancing to a runoff if no candidate receives a majority of the vote), Kennedy has led in every poll….One last implication from Saturday’s runoff to keep in mind: A Kennedy victory would make it much harder for Democrats to take over the Senate in 2018.” 
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FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ – Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-A Buzzfeed/Ipsos survey finds that most Americans who see fake news stories believe them. [Buzzfeed]
-Ruth Igielnik and Rakesh Kochhar analyze data showing the GOP gaining ground in middle-class communities. [Pew]
-A Morning Consult poll shows that Americans consider ABC and CBS the most credible news sources. [Morning Consult]
-Yascha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa respond to criticism that their graph showing declining support for democracy among millennials is misleading. [WashPost]
-Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley predict the Democrats will face difficulty in the 2018 Senate midterms. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]
-Kevin Quealy visualizes Donald Trump’s history of Twitter insults. [NYT]
-Philip Bump finds that America never actually stopped saying “Merry Christmas.” [WashPost]
Nick Bayer and Grace Sparks contributed to this article.