Apr 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden’s 5th-quarter approval rating nears historic low

Fifth quarter job approval ratings of elected presidents since 1954
Data: Gallup; Table: Simran Parwani/Axios

President Biden’s approval rating during the fifth quarter of his term is his lowest yet, according to new Gallup data.

Why it matters: The low approval rating — 41.3% — doesn't bode well for Democrats as they head into the midterm season.

  • Only President Trump had a lower approval rating at this stage in his presidency, when compared with all U.S. presidents elected to their first term in office dating back to President Eisenhower. Trump was at 39.1%.

Between the lines: A president’s approval rating tends to drop during the second year.

  • That comes long after the initial honeymoon period is over and as voters begin to hold the administration accountable for fulfilling its campaign promises.
  • The current president is entering his second year following a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in September 2021, and as the war in Ukraine intensifies.
  • On the home front, the administration is still battling coronavirus remnants, like mask mandates, inflation and high gas prices.

Zoom out: In addition to Trump, Presidents Carter, Reagan and Obama all had approval ratings averaging less than majority — though they still had higher ratings than Biden.

Go deeper: A poll out this week from the Harvard Institute of Politics showed that 41% of young Americans approve of Biden’s job performance.

  • That's down from 46% in fall 2021.
  • Around this time last year, the president enjoyed a 59% approval rating from young Americans.
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