Donald Trump's presidency continues to worry most Americans

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Donald Trump has secured his victory in the Electoral College, guaranteeing that he will take over the White House next month, but most Americans remain pessimistic or uncertain about the Trump presidency.

Fifty-four percent of adults say they are either uncertain (25 percent) or pessimistic and worried (29 percent) about how Trump will perform as president, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. This compares with 45 percent who are either optimistic and confident (22 percent) or satisfied and hopeful (23 percent).

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​​​​The pollsters said this is a significantly worse outlook than Americans exhibited after the elections of both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush. A combined 66 percent were either optimistic or hopeful about Obama in January 2009, and 59 percent were optimistic or hopeful about Bush in January 2001.

"Usually elections settle arguments and the nation comes together, at least in the short term," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "Today, hard feelings persist on both sides of the partisan divide. It's as if the 2016 campaign has never ended."

Only 12 percent of the supporters of defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton approve of how Republican Trump is handling his transition, compared with 92 percent of Trump voters.

Trump's overall favorability has increased slightly since the election but more Americans still give him a poor rating (46 percent) than a positive one (40 percent).

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Trump receives electoral college vote
Pennsylvania elector Carolyn Bunny Welsh holds her ballot for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump before casting it at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Pennsylvania electors cast their ballots for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as electors gather to cast their votes for U.S. president at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. Pennsylvania's twenty electors are assumed to be committed to Trump by virtue of his having won the popular vote in the state, but the vote that is usually routine takes place this year amid allegations of Russian hacking to try to influence the election. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Pennsylvania electors bow their heads in prayer before casting their votes for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protesters rally outside as Michigan's 16 presidential electors meet at the State Capitol building to cast formal votes for the president and vice president of the United States in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Electoral college tellers count the ballots Pennsylvania electors cast for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Pennsylvania electors take their oath of office before casting their votes for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump hold signs in the Senate gallery as Michigan's electors cast formal votes for the president and vice president of the United States in Lansing, Michigan, U.S., December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Activists demonstrate against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the meeting of the Electoral College at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed
North Carolina's Thirteenth District Elector Ann Sullivan wears clothes adorned with patriotic and Republican Party symbols after the state's Electoral College affirmed their votes for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Protesters shout in anger from the gallery at Pennsylvania electors after they cast their votes for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
People protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as electors gather to cast their votes for U.S. president at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. Pennsylvania's twenty electors are assumed to be committed to Trump by virtue of his having won the popular vote in the state, but the vote that is usually routine takes place this year amid allegations of Russian hacking to try to influence the election. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Activists demonstrate against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump ahead of the meeting of the Electoral College at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed
Pennsylvania elector Carolyn Bunny Welsh smiles as she returns to her seat after casting her ballot for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
North Carolina's Electoral College representatives pose for a group photo after formally voting for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
North Carolina's Electoral College representatives sign the Certificates of Vote after affirming their votes, all for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, at a ceremony in the State Capitol building in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
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Clinton won about 2.8 million more popular votes than Trump did in the Nov. 8 election but she fell far short in the state-by-state system of electoral votes, which is how the presidency is actually decided. On Monday, the nation's electors met and gave Trump far more than the 270 electoral votes he needed, as was expected.

Still, Trump's failure to win the popular vote has damaged his standing among some voters, especially Democrats.

The latest Marist poll finds that a majority of registered voters, 52 percent, say the popular vote should be the deciding factor in a presidential election while 45 percent say the Electoral College should continue to be the deciding factor.

Seventy-eight percent of Democrats say the nation should move away from the Electoral College and adopt the popular vote. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents say the Electoral College system should remain, according to the Marist poll.

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