54% of Americans disapprove of how Trump has handled his presidential transition, a new Insider poll shows

Trump - Biden
President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with former US President Barack Obama (C) and President-elect Joe Biden after being sworn in as president on January 20, 2017 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
  • A peaceful and cooperative transfer of power between the outgoing and incoming president is a historic precedent dating back to the Adams administration in 1800.
  • According to recent Insider polling, a majority of Americans disapprove of the Trump administration's transition of power.
  • Additionally, Insider polling shows that nearly one in 10 Biden-voting respondents approve of how Trump has handled his presidential transition.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As a president's time in office draws to a close, historic precedent set by President John Adams in 1800 dictates that the outgoing administration coordinates with the incoming president's team to ensure a smooth transfer of power.

But as President Donald Trump's term comes to an end, his administration has repeatedly placed hurdles in the way of the incoming Biden administration - and Americans are taking notice.

Recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey shows that 54% of respondents somewhat disapproved, disapproved, or strongly disapproved of Trump's transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden. Conversely, 31% of survey respondents said they strongly approved, somewhat approved, or approved of the outgoing president's transfer of power.

A further breakdown of responses are as follows:

  • 14% of Trump-voting respondents disapproved of Trump's presidential transition
  • 9% of Biden-voting respondents approved of Trump's presidential transfer of power
  • 15% of all respondents neither approved or disapproved of Trump's transition

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken on December 21. The poll also surveyed the 1,123 respondents about pandemic holiday plans and the congressional stimulus package. Of the respondents, 305 told Insider they voted for Trump, and 507 said they voted for Biden.

Stonewalling transition cooperation

Though it took several days longer than previous presidential elections to count the majority of the presidential votes cast for the November 3 election, it took even more time - nearly three weeks - for the Trump administration to formally recognize Biden as the next president after withholding transition resources for his incoming administration.

But even after the General Services Administration allowed Biden's team access to the transition resources, Trump's administration has not fully cooperated with the president-elect's staff.

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the US economy following a briefing with economic advisors in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 16, 2020.

According to recent Insider reporting, several Trump officials have stonewalled Biden's transition team and have yet to acknowledge Biden's victory.

Read more: Federal workers are in a 'twilight zone' where Trump officials are stonewalling Joe Biden's transition team and refusing to publicly acknowledge his win

A senior government employee told Insider's Robin Bravender that "it is still this twilight zone mentality where everybody knows, including all of the political leaders, that on January 20th it's going to be President Biden… But the term Biden-Harris is not coming out of the mouths of any politicals."

On December 18, Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller ordered the Pentagon to cancel meetings with the Biden transition team, Axios reported. In a statement, Miller said the cancellation of the meetings was mutually agreed upon as a holiday break, but the executive director of the Biden transition, Yohannes Abraham contradicted that.

"Let me be clear: There was no mutually agreed-upon holiday break," Abraham said. "In fact, we think it is important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period as there's no time to spare."

Cooperation or not, Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20. It is unclear if Trump will be in attendance.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,123 respondents on December 21. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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