Feature Stories

Politics & Polls #41: Trump’s First 100 Days

Apr 27, 2017
By:
B. Rose Kelly
Source:
Woodrow Wilson School

The first 100 days of Trump’s presidency have been a whirlwind of victories and setbacks, leaving Americans with mixed opinions about President Trump and how the next four years could unfold. While his approval ratings are at historic lows and he has yet to enact any major legislation, his supporters have been pleased with the burst of executive actions and his defiant stand against the political establishment.

How has President Trump done in his first 100 days, and how does he compare to past presidents? Why is the first 100 days in office used as a barometer in the first place? Do these presidential beginnings predict the course of an entire term?

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview political historian Meg Jacobs, a research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Jacobs explains the concept of evaluating a president’s first 100 days and how she thinks Trump’s faring from a historical perspective.

Jacobs, who is married to Zelizer, is the author of “Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America,” and, more recently, “Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s.” She is currently working on a new book with Viking Press about the history of the New Deal and World War II.

ABOUT THE HOSTS

Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 
Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum and autism.