Jun 22, 2018

What Trump's approval rating means for the midterm elections

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.

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