This article needs to be updated. In particular: the graph of Obama's approval ratings only goes to 2013. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(January 2017)
Approval ratings of Barack Obama by state, 2015. Approval of the president is highest in Hawaii, at 58 percent, and lowest in West Virginia, at 24 percent.
In the United States, presidential job approval ratings were introduced by George Gallup in the late 1930s (probably 1937) to gauge public support for the President of the United States during their term. An approval rating is a percentage determined by a polling which indicates the percentage of respondents to an opinion poll who approve of a particular person or program. Typically, an approval rating is given to a political figure based on responses to a poll in which a sample of people are asked whether they approve or disapprove of that particular political figure. A typical question might ask:
"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?"
Like most surveys that predict public opinion, the approval rating is subjective. Many unscientific approval rating systems exist that skew popular opinion. However, the approval rating is generally accepted as a statistically valid indicator of the comparative changes in the popular US mood regarding a president.