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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
23 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Microsoft's metaverse maneuvering

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Microsoft is pitching investors and regulators that its $68 billion Activision Blizzard deal is all about the metaverse, that nebulous buzzword taking the tech world by storm.

What they're saying: By my colleague Stephen Totilo's count, Nadella used the word "metaverse" at least five times in his conference call discussing the deal. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick mentioned the metaverse four times, while Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer used the term twice.

Women in same-gender partnerships face a double pay gap

Expand chart
Data: The Hamilton Project; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A married female couple will bring home lower wages, on average, than an opposite-gender married couple or a same-gender male couple.

Why it matters: Women in same-gender partnerships can experience (at least) two kinds of discrimination, based on their gender and on their sexual orientation.

The high cost of bringing down inflation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Suppose the Federal Reserve had perfect foresight last year, and set out to keep inflation at its 2% target anyway — despite supply disruptions and labor shortages. What would that have looked like?

The answer: A catastrophe for growth, according to new research from the BlackRock Investment Institute. The Fed would have had to crater demand in the economy so much, that it would have pushed the unemployment rate to nearly 10%, the researchers estimate.