Speed Reads

By the numbers

America isn't confident Trump can handle the presidency

Only 44 percent of the country believes that Donald Trump is capable of preventing major scandals, a new Gallup poll has discovered. By comparison, 74 percent of people said President Barack Obama would be able to prevent major scandals when he was coming into office in 2009, and 77 percent said the same of George W. Bush in 2001.

"In addition to their personal feelings about Trump, Americans' lower confidence in him may also stem from the public's generally low level of trust in government," Gallup writes in its analysis of the data. "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international and domestic problems is worse now than it was when Bush and Obama took office."

Across all categories — including "use military force wisely" and "work effectively with Congress to get things done" — Trump never inspired more confidence than any of the past three incoming president-elects. "The deficits for Trump versus the average for his predecessors range from a low of 15 percentage points on defending U.S. interests abroad to a high of 32 points for preventing major scandals," Gallup writes.

The results come from a random sample of 1,028 adults reached in landline or cell phone interviews between Dec. 7-11. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.