United States presidential approval rating

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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 his 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?"[1]

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.

President Barack Obama[edit]

Most recent polls for President Barack Obama:[2]

Polling Group Date Approval Disapproval Unsure Sample Size
Gallup Poll [a] August 7-9, 2015 47% 49% 3% ~1,000
FOX News [b] July 30 - Aug 2, 2015 46% 46% 7% 1,306
CBS News July 29 - Aug 2, 2015 44% 47% 9% 1,252
NBC/Wall Street Journal [c] July 26-30, 2015 45% 50% 5% 1,000
Quinnipiac University July 23-28, 2015 43% 52% 5% 1,644
CNN/ORC July 22-25, 2015 49% 47% 4% 1,017
Pew Research Center July 14-20, 2015 48% 45% 7% 2,002
ABC News/Washington Post July 16-19, 2015 45% 50% 5% 1,002

Historical comparison[edit]

Historical Gallup Poll approval highs and lows for each President since 1937:[3][d]

Order President Highest Approval Lowest Approval High-Low Highest Disapproval Approval Average[3]
44[4] Obama [e] 69 (1/22-24/09) 38 (8/20-29/11), (10/4-17/11), (9/1-3/14) 31 57 (9/4-7/2014) 47.0[5]
43[6] Bush (G.W.) [f] 90 (9/21/01) 25 (10/3-5/08, 10/10-12/08, 10/31-11/2/08) 65 71 (10/10-12/08) 49.4
42[8] Clinton [g] 73 (12/19/98) 37 (5/26/93) 36 54 (9/6-7/94) 55.1
41[9] Bush (G.H.W.) 89 (2/28/91) 29 (7/31/92) 60 60 (7/31/92) 60.9
40[10] Reagan 68 (5/16/86) 35 (1/28/83) 33 56 (1/28/83) 52.8
39[11] Carter 75 (3/18/77) 28 (6/29/79) 47 59 (6/29/79) 45.5
38[12] Ford 71 (8/16/74) 37 (3/28/75) 34 46 (4/18/75, 11/21/75) 47.2
37[13] Nixon 67 (1/26/73) 24 (8/2/74) 43 66 (8/2/74) 49.1
36[14] Johnson 79 (2/28/64) 35 (8/7/68) 44 52 (8/7/68, 3/10/68) 55.1
35[15] Kennedy 83 (3/8/62) 56 (9/12/63) 27 30 (9/12/63, 11/8/63) 70.1
34[16] Eisenhower 79 (12/14/56) 48 (3/27/58) 31 36 (3/27/58) 65.0
33[17] Truman 87 (6/1/45) 22 (2/9/52) 65 67 (1/6/52) 45.4
32[18] Roosevelt 84 (1/8/42) 48 (8/18/39) 36 46 (5/22/38, 5/29/38, 11/7/38) 63

Graphs[edit]

Gallup Poll graphs of approval ratings for Presidents of the United States:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rolling 3-day average.
  2. ^ Conducted by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).
  3. ^ Conducted by the polling organizations of Peter D. Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R).
  4. ^ Only the results of Gallup polls are included, as no other poll results exist for presidents before President Clinton.
  5. ^ Including all polling agencies, Obama's highest approval was 76% in a CNN poll held February 7-8, 2009, his lowest approval was 37% in a USA Today/Gallup poll of September 2011 and a CBS poll of November 2013, which alongside a Quinnipiac University poll of December 2013 also registered his highest disapproval of 57%.[2]
  6. ^ Including all polling agencies, G.W. Bush's highest approval was 92% in an ABC poll held October 8-9, 2001, his lowest approval was 19% in five polls held in February, September and October 2008 (3 CBS and 2 American Research Group polls), and his highest disapproval was 77% in three of those polls in 2008[7]
  7. ^ Including all polling agencies, Clinton's highest approval was 73% at six occasions in 1998 and 1999, his lowest approval was 36% in a Yank/TIME/CNN poll on May 26-27, 1993, and his highest disapproval was 54% in the September 6-7, 1994 Gallup poll.

References[edit]

External links[edit]