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President Trump's approval rating needs to go up before the midterms if he wants his party to salvage House seats. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump has a 45% approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, the highest since late January, but it's around the same percentage that past presidents had going into a midterm election in which they lost dozens of seats.

Why it matters: His approval increased by 1 percentage point each week in two previous polls, then it jumped up 3 points in the most recent poll. As the Cook Political Report's Charles Cook writes: this 45% "needs to be the beginning of an upward trend through November if he hopes to salvage this House majority."

Past presidents' approval ratings going into the midterm elections:

  • Jimmy Carter: 49% approval in 1978. Democrats lost 15 House seats.
  • Ronald Reagan: 43% in 1982. Republicans lost 26 House seats.
  • Bill Clinton: 45% in 1994. Democrats lost 54 seats.
  • Barack Obama: 45% in 2010. Democrats lost 63 seats.

Be smart: A 45% approval rating is on the high end for President Trump, but it's still not a sign that the GOP will be in the clear come November, especially given that the North Korean summit contributed to the latest figure.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.

1 hour ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.