Trump received his worse marks for understanding average people (30 percent), uniting the country (27 percent), being easygoing and likable (27 percent), having high personal and ethical standards (26 percent) and having the right temperament (21 percent).

Obama’s “second honeymoon” as he leaves office

While Trump is entering office with the worst numbers in the history of the NBC/WSJ poll, outgoing President Barack Obama is exiting with some of his highest numbers.

Fifty-six percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job, which is his highest rating since the first few months of his presidency.

Moreover, 53 percent of Americans believe the country is better off than it was eight years ago, while 42 percent think it’s worse off.

A similar 54 percent say Obama mostly brought the right kind of change.

And a combined 55 percent believe Obama – compared with the past several U.S. presidents – will either go down as one of the very best or be better than most.

That’s compared with 20 percent who said the same of George W. Bush, 56 percent who said that about Bill Clinton, 55 percent who said that about George H.W. Bush, and 55 percent who said that about Ronald Reagan.

“If Donald Trump enters office on a down note, the current occupant is enjoying a second honeymoon of sorts,” says Yang, the Democratic pollster.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Jan. 12-15 of 1,000 adults – including nearly 500 reached via cell phone – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

President-elect Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to criticize national polls that have found his approval rating to be near 40 percent as “rigged” and “phony,” saying: “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls.”

Yet while the national polls weren’t that far off – Hillary Clinton beat Trump by two points in the popular vote, 48 percent to 46 percent – this NBC/WSJ poll and other post-election surveys don’t depend on pollsters’ assumptions about which voters will come to the polls. Instead, they are measuring current public opinion among all Americans, not just voters or likely voters.