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Reaction to Trump Inauguration Similar to 2005, 2013 Inaugurations

Reaction to Trump Inauguration Similar to 2005, 2013 Inaugurations

Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • 39% say they are more hopeful, 30% less hopeful about next four years
  • Less positive reaction than to Obama's first inauguration
  • Trump speech rated less positively than those of Bush, Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C -- Americans' reactions to the inaugural ceremonies for Donald Trump were more positive than negative. Thirty-nine percent say they are more hopeful about the next four years based on what they saw, heard or read about Friday's inauguration, 30% are less hopeful, and 30% say what they heard or read made no difference. That reaction is similar to what Gallup measured for George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's second inaugurations, but much less positive than it was for Obama's first.

Based on what you have heard or read about today's inauguration, does it make you feel more hopeful about the next four years, less hopeful or does it not make any difference?
More hopeful Less hopeful No difference
% % %
Donald Trump (2017) 39 30 30
Barack Obama (2013) 37 27 30
Barack Obama (2009) 62 11 23
George W. Bush (2005) 43 25 28
Based on one-night reaction polls conducted the night of the inauguration.

Gallup conducted a one-night reaction poll Friday night after Trump was inaugurated as the nation's 45th president earlier that day, just as it had done immediately after the 2005, 2009 and 2013 inaugurations.

Reactions to Trump's ceremonies are predictably partisan, though Republicans had stronger reactions than Democrats did. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, say they are more hopeful about the next four years after the inaugural ceremonies. In contrast, 56% of Democrats and Democratic leaners are less hopeful about the next four years; 36% say it makes no difference.

Democrats were more positive about Obama's 2009 inauguration (87% said it made them more hopeful) than Republicans are about Trump's this year. But Republicans were much less negative about Obama in 2009 than Democrats are about Trump. In fact, Republicans were about as likely to say Obama's 2009 inauguration made them more hopeful about the next four years as to say less hopeful.

Partisan reactions to Trump's inauguration are very similar to those for Bush's second inauguration in 2005.

Based on what you have heard or read about today's inauguration, does it make you feel more hopeful about the next four years, less hopeful or does it not make any difference?
Results by Political Party
More hopeful Less hopeful No difference
% % %
Donald Trump (2017)
Republicans/Republican leaners 78 3 19
Democrats/Democratic leaners 8 56 36
Barack Obama (2013)
Republicans/Republican leaners 7 57 30
Democrats/Democratic leaners 66 3 25
Barack Obama (2009)
Republicans/Republican leaners 31 26 40
Democrats/Democratic leaners 87 1 10
George W. Bush (2005)
Republicans/Republican leaners 73 4 19
Democrats/Democratic leaners 12 50 35
Based on one-night reaction polls conducted the night of the inauguration.

Many More Americans Tuned in to Obama's First Inauguration Than Trump's

Forty-six percent of Americans reported watching the 2017 inaugural ceremonies as they happened, fewer than the 60% who did so for Obama's first inauguration in 2009. The percentage watching Trump's ceremonies exceeded those for Bush's (40%) and Obama's (38%) second inaugurations.

The viewing audience for Trump's inauguration was decidedly more Republican than Democratic -- 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners said they watched the events as they happened, compared with 35% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. That pattern of the president's party members being more attentive to the coverage has been the case in each of the last four inaugurations, but the party gap in viewership was smaller in 2005 and 2009 than in the last two. In 2009, majorities of both parties reported watching the ceremonies, perhaps given their historic significance with Obama becoming the first African-American president.

Which of the following applies to you -- you watched or listened to the inauguration ceremonies as they happened; you watched, listened to or read news reports about the inauguration ceremonies after they happened; or you did not do either?
Watched Saw coverage Did neither
% % %
Donald Trump (2017)
All Americans 46 23 30
Republicans/Republican leaners 61 21 17
Democrats/Democratic leaners 35 27 37
Barack Obama (2013)
All Americans 38 27 33
Republicans/Republican leaners 26 31 43
Democrats/Democratic leaners 56 24 20
Barack Obama (2009)
All Americans 60 20 20
Republicans/Republican leaners 51 21 28
Democrats/Democratic leaners 70 19 11
George W. Bush (2005)
All Americans 40 33 26
Republicans/Republican leaners 48 32 20
Democrats/Democratic leaners 33 39 27
Based on one-night reaction polls conducted the night of the inauguration.

In addition to the 46% watching the Trump inaugural ceremonies, another 23% say they saw or heard news coverage of the ceremonies after they ended. The combined 69% who watched or saw coverage of the event is lower than for the 2009 inauguration (80%) but similar to 2005 (73%) and 2013 (65%).

Trump Speech Rated Least Positively of Last Four Inaugural Addresses

A slight majority of Americans who saw the ceremonies or news coverage of them, 53%, gave Trump's inaugural address a positive review -- rating it as either "excellent" or "good." Twenty percent rated it negatively -- as either "poor" or "terrible" -- with the remainder saying it was "just okay."

Americans who had viewed or seen news coverage of the three prior inauguration ceremonies rated those inaugural addresses more positively, including 65% excellent/good ratings for Obama's speech in 2013, 81% for Obama's 2009 address and 62% for Bush's 2005 speech. Negative evaluations of Trump's inauguration speech are higher than for the most recent addresses.

Based on what you have heard or read, how would you rate Donald Trump's inauguration speech? Would you rate it as -- excellent, good, just okay, poor or terrible?
Asked of those who saw ceremonies or news reports of them
Excellent Good Just okay Poor Terrible
% % % % %
Donald Trump
2017 Jan 20 29 24 22 6 14
Barack Obama
2013 Jan 21 33 32 19 5 7
2009 Jan 20 46 35 12 2 1
George W. Bush
2005 Jan 20 25 37 20 7 4

The vast majority of Republicans who saw inauguration coverage, 87%, rated Trump's speech positively, compared with 15% of Democrats. Close to half of Democrats and Democratic leaners, 46%, gave his speech a negative review.


While not quite the home run Obama's first inauguration was, Trump's inauguration was not much different than other recent inaugurations in terms of making Americans more hopeful about the coming four years. This is the case even though Trump's speech got less positive reviews than prior inaugural addresses from those who watched the inauguration ceremonies or saw news coverage of them.

The more positive than negative reaction to Trump's inauguration, based on a measure of how hopeful it made Americans about the next four years, is notable given that the public held Trump in much lower esteem than prior presidents-elect. His final pre-inauguration favorable rating of 40% is also lower than those for Obama (58%) and Bush (60%) before their second inaugurations.

Trump will still likely have a lot of ground to make up to match the public good will enjoyed by prior presidents in the early stages of their presidency. But the inauguration seems to have done more to help Trump than to hurt him in closing that gap. However, since the good feeling coming out of the inauguration is predominantly from his natural political allies, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, and less from his natural opponents, the gap may not be fully closed unless and until Democrats' strong negative feelings toward him subside.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 20, 2017, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 508 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.

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