A majority of Americans, including Bruce Springsteen doubt Donald Trump can perform essential presidential duties

A majority of Americans don't even believe Trump can handle foreign policy or avoid scandal

Published January 3, 2017 8:13PM (EST)

Bruce Springsteen; Donald Trump   (Getty/Christopher Polk/Joe Raedle)
Bruce Springsteen; Donald Trump (Getty/Christopher Polk/Joe Raedle)

Not even a majority of Americans believe that President-elect Donald Trump can handle basic aspects of his presidential duties, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday.

The survey found that only 46 percent of Americans are confident that Trump can handle an international crisis. Similarly, only 47 percent believe Trump will use military force wisely. Finally, only 44 percent of Americans said they think Trump will be able to prevent major scandals during his presidency.

By contrast, when Barack Obama took office in 2009, 73 percent of Americans felt that he would be able to handle an international crisis, 71 percent believed he would use military force wisely, and 74 percent thought he would avoid major scandals. Similarly, when George W. Bush took office in 2001, 71 percent of Americans felt he could handle an international crisis effectively, 78 percent thought he would use military force wisely, and 77 percent thought he could avoid major scandals.

Trump's two best numbers were in his ability to effectively work with Congress (60 percent) and his ability to effectively manage the economy (59 percent), although the former number is still far below 89 percent for Obama and 74 percent for Bush (there are no survey results for effectively managing the economy).

Perhaps appropriately, these survey results were consistent with comments by Bruce Springsteen in a recent appearance on Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

“I’ve felt disgust before, but never the kind of fear that you feel now,” Springsteen said. “It’s as simple as the fear of, is someone simply competent enough to do this particular job? Do they simply have the pure competence to be put in the position of such responsibility?”

This isn't the first recent Gallup poll to bear bad news for The Donald. On Thursday a Gallup survey found that more Americans deemed Barack Obama (22 percent) to be the most admired man in America than Donald Trump (15 percent). While it is not abnormal for sitting presidents to surpass presidents-elect in that category, Obama himself had beaten George W. Bush in 2008 after his election.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Bruce Springsteen Donald Trump Gallup Polls