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.
Less than 30%
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?"
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.
^Conducted by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).
^Only the results of Gallup polls are included, as no other poll results exist for presidents before President Clinton.
^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%.
^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
^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.