Although Republican President-elect Donald Trump will take office with his party in firm control of Congress, a majority of Americans (58%) are optimistic that he will make a sincere effort to work with Democrats to find solutions to the nation’s problems. The same majority also believe that Democrats in Congress will sincerely try to work with Trump. Americans are less sure (49%) that Republicans in Congress will reach across the aisle.
These results, from Gallup’s Nov. 9-13 post-election survey, are updates to similar questions Gallup asked after the 2008 and 2012 elections. Americans were significantly more hopeful in 2008 about the possibilities of newly elected President Barack Obama than they are now about Trump. Eight in 10 Americans at the time expected Obama would cooperate with the opposing party in Congress. Like Trump, Obama had campaigned in 2008 on the need to bring about change — but Obama was much better-liked after his election, with a 68% favorable rating, compared with Trump’s post-election 42%.
After contending with a GOP-led House in 2011 and 2012, Obama in 2012 was less widely seen as able to work with the Republicans in Congress to find solutions. Even so, the 65% of Americans still saying this about Obama after his re-election was a bit more positive than Trump’s current evaluation.