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Poll: Trump's Transition Performance Rating Trails Predecessors

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event in Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 8, 2016.

A new Gallup poll shows Donald Trump's efforts to transition into the U.S. presidency are rated lower than his past three predecessors during similar points in time.

Americans are evenly split on the president-elect's handling of his transition to the White House, with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving. President Barack Obama enjoyed a 75 percent approval rating during the same period in 2008. Sixty-five percent of Americans approved of George W. Bush's transition efforts in 2000, while Bill Clinton had a 67 percent approval rating in 1992.

The Republican presidential-elect's low approval ratings are largely due to fierce opposition from Democrats. Only 17 percent of Democrats approve of Trump's transition, far lower than the ratings Obama and Clinton received from Republicans and much lower than the support Bush had from Democrats.

Trump also polls significantly lower among independents compared with the past three presidents-elect. Forty-six percent of independents approve of Trump's handling of the transition, compared to 64 percent for Clinton, 59 percent for Bush and 75 percent for Obama.

If Trump's approval ratings don't improve before his inauguration on January 20, he could enter the White House with the lowest job rating ever recorded by Gallup. In the 1980's, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had the lowest recorded approval rating at 51 percent. If recent historical poll results remain unchanged, Trump would assume the presidency with an approval rating of 40 percent.