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83% Say Trump Likely to Erase Most of Obama's Achievements

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Even as the media lavishes praise on President Obama's legacy, voters strongly believe his successor will wipe out most of the changes made during the Obama years.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 83% of Likely U.S. Voters think President Trump is likely to reverse or abolish most of Obama’s accomplishments, with 47% who say that’s Very Likely. Twelve percent (12%) say it’s unlikely Trump will get rid of most of what Obama's done, but that includes just one percent (1%) who think it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Republican voters think it’s Very Likely Trump will get rid of most of his predecessor’s accomplishments, a view shared by 47% of Democrats but just 35% of voters not affiliated with either party.

This sentiment is in line with voters’ expectations during the presidential campaign. Voters felt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would perform about the same as Obama on most issues, but they expected Trump to make big changes as president, for better or worse. Trump is expected to begin his presidency with a flurry of executive orders, some as soon as tomorrow following his inauguration and many likely to overturn Obama initiatives.

Voters tend to think Obamacare will be the defining marker of Obama’s presidency, with his handling of social and racial issues, the Iran nuclear deal and his policies on illegal immigration and refugees all tied for a distant second.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on January 15-16, 2017. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

At his first formal press conference as president-elect last week, Trump reiterated his intention to repeal Obamacare and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration. He also said he would nominate someone to the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court within his first two weeks. Voters say repealing and replacing the health care law and filling the Supreme Court vacancy are good places to start

Republican support for building a border wall right away remains strong, but other voters are growing less enthusiastic. 

Voters 40 and older feel even more strongly than younger voters do that Trump is likely to reverse or abolish most of Obama’s accomplishments.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of black voters believe Trump is Very Likely to erase Obama’s accomplishments, a view shared by 49% of whites and just 31% of other minority voters.

Among voters who Strongly Approve of President Obama’s performance, 55% think Trump is Very Likely to reverse or abolish Obama’s accomplishments. An even higher number of voters who Strongly Disapprove of the job the outgoing president has been doing (61%) agrees.

While many of Obama's policies were unpopular with most voters, Obama himself has grown more and more popular as his presidency comes to a close.

Still, half (50%) of all voters believe America is a more divided nation after the eight years of the Obama presidency. Just 22% think the United States is a less divided country now.

Only 32% think the United States is safer now than it was in January 2009 when Obama took office.

While the health care law has been unpopular since the start, more voters than ever are calling for fixing it on a piece-by-piece basis rather than throwing it out completely. Just 12% want to keep Obamacare as is.

Fifty-four percent (54%) think major legislation to improve the country is likely to be passed during Trump’s first 100 days in office, with 25% who say it is Very Likely.

Trump was elected on a promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. Most Republicans (57%) are more concerned their party’s candidate won’t change things enough, while 76% of Democrats fear he'll change things too much.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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