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Trump to leave White House on higher note than Bush and with GOP better positioned for future

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President Donald Trump is leaving the White House on Wednesday with a higher approval rating than when the last GOP president left, and with his party in a better place to win future elections up and down the ballot.

According to an aggregate of polls at RealClearPolitics, the president’s overall approval rating is nearly 40 percent, while Bush, when he left in January 2009, was slightly under 30 percent, The Federalist reported Tuesday, a day before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in.

“One recent poll by the Pew Research Center made headlines this month. It was conducted in the aftermath of the attacks on Capitol Hill and showed Trump on his way out with the same approval rating as his last Republican predecessor, at 29 percent,” the outlet reported.

“Yet the poll is an outlier among seven other surveys conducted entirely in the aftermath of the latest Capitol riots, showing Trump’s approval well above 30 percent. The most recent poll included in the RealClear average, from Rasmussen and conducted Jan. 11-14, shows Trump with a 48 percent approval rating.”

Rasmussen has consistently polled accurately before and during Trump’s term. It was one of the only polling firms to correctly forecast his 2016 victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

At this point in Bush’s two-term presidency, a few days before President-elect Barack Obama was to be sworn in, his support was barely at 22 percent, according to polling averages — far lower than the Pew results released on Trump.

But the current outgoing Republican left the GOP in better shape to win future elections as well, The Federalist notes, having attracted more minorities to the party than previous Republican presidents, as well as making the GOP more attractive to working-class Americans.

Also, Democrats hold a very thin majority in the House after Republicans picked up far more seats than most pre-election polling indicated. Meanwhile, the Senate is evenly split at 50-50, though the GOP did lose both Republican seats in Georgia as well as another in historically red Arizona.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat majority is only 10 seats; when Bush left in 2009, Democrats held a 79-seat advantage. And in the Senate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the tie-breaker “where West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin looms large and has a red-state constituency to satisfy.”

In 2009, Democrats held a 59-41 majority; the chamber’s two independents caucused with Democrats. Shortly thereafter, Democrats were given a 60-40 supermajority after long-time moderate GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties.

“For all the negative headlines about Trump, it’s clear the president remains far more unpopular in the media establishment driven by beltway narratives than in the rest of the country,” The Federalist noted.

As for Biden, a new Gallup poll claims that Biden has a 57 percent approval rating, with 68 percent approving of his presidential transition, Newsmax reported Tuesday.

Gallup claimed that Trump only had a 40-percent approval rating when he took office, though Trump was also credited for growing the party’s majority in both chambers of Congress. He was also credited by some for staunching the expected losses in Congress this election cycle, as well as bolstering Republican majorities in state and local elections.

Jon Dougherty

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