As states continue to certify vote results from the 2020 election in the coming weeks, Trump receives highly negative ratings for his conduct since the Nov. 3 election. Nearly seven-in-ten voters (68%) say Trump’s conduct has been only fair or poor, including a majority of voters who say it has been poor (54%).
In contrast, Biden gets positive marks for his conduct since the 2020 presidential election. Overall, 62% of voters say it has been good or excellent, while 37% say it has been only fair or poor. Nearly three times as many voters say Biden’s conduct has been excellent as say this about Trump’s (38% vs. 13%, respectively).
The overwhelming majority of Biden voters (96%) rate Biden’s post-election conduct as excellent or good, as do a quarter of Trump voters.
As the Trump campaign continues to mount legal challenges to the vote and ballot counting process in several states, 57% of voters say that these legal challenges should not continue. A smaller share (43%) says the Trump campaign should continue the legal challenges.
Biden’s supporters are remarkably united in their views of Trump’s post-election conduct and whether his presidential campaign should continue legal challenges to the vote and ballot counting process. Virtually all Biden voters (99%) say Trump’s conduct since the election has been fair or poor, with 94% rating it as poor.
Nearly two-thirds of Trump voters (65%) view his post-election conduct positively, while 34% say it has been only fair or poor.
Trump’s ratings are much more positive among those who said they supported him strongly in Pew Research Center’s October survey. At that time, a 68% majority of registered voters backed him strongly, while 32% supported him moderately or leaned toward voting for him.
Those who supported Trump strongly last month are more than twice as likely as those who backed him less strongly to endorse his post-election conduct; 79% of Trump’s strong supporters say it has been excellent or good, compared with just 35% of the smaller subset of his supporters who backed him less strongly.
However, sizable majorities of Trump voters – those who supported him strongly and not as strongly – say his campaign’s legal challenges should continue. An overwhelming share of strong Trump supporters (94%) say this, as do a smaller majority of voters (71%) who backed Trump less strongly.
Among Trump voters, opposition to Trump’s continued legal challenges is largely limited to those who rate his post-election conduct as poor. Among the 10% of Trump voters who express this view, 62% say his campaign’s election challenges should not continue. But only about a quarter (24%) of Trump supporters who rate his conduct as only fair agree, as do very small shares of those who view his post-election conduct as good (5%) or excellent (1%).
Few are confident presidential transition would go smoothly
With the transition from a Trump presidency to a Biden administration stalled because of the president’s continuing legal challenges, voters are widely pessimistic that a transition would go smoothly.
Nearly three-quarters of voters (73%) say they are not too or not at all confident that the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration will go smoothly. This includes a majority of both Biden and Trump voters.
Trump voters are slightly more confident than Biden voters that the transition will go smoothly (35% vs. 16%, respectively). Still, majorities of each group lack confidence in a smooth presidential transition (62% of Trump voters vs. 83% of Biden voters).
Warm ratings toward Biden rise following his election as president
When asked to rate Biden on a “feeling thermometer” between 0 and 100 – where 0 is the coldest, most negative rating and 100 represents the warmest, most positive – voters give Biden an average score of 48, up from 45 in October.
Overall, each of the four major 2020 candidates received a minor uptick in their average thermometer scores since October. Today, Biden’s average thermometer rating (48) is the highest of all four political leaders asked about on the survey: Trump’s overall average was 41, while ratings for Kamala Harris and Mike Pence were 45 and 44, respectively.
Biden’s boost in mean thermometer score comes from Biden and Trump voters alike. Biden voters give the president-elect an average rating of 79. This is up 5 points since October, when Biden’s average thermometer rating among his supporters was 74. And while Trump voters give Biden an average rating of just 15, this is up from an average score of 11 just two months prior.
Biden voters also view Harris more warmly than they did in October. Then, her average thermometer rating was 71. Today, her average is 78.
At the same time, Trump’s and Pence’s mean ratings among Trump voters are little changed from October (Trump’s average score was 82 then and 80 now; Pence’s were 78 in October and 79 today).