- 42% of U.S. adults approve, 56% disapprove of Biden's handling of his job
- 86% of Democrats, 39% of independents, 7% of Republicans approve
- Biden comparable to most other presidents at same point in term
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Joe Biden's latest job approval rating of 42% is essentially unchanged from last month's 44% and maintains the slight improvement he's seen from his 38% personal low point in July. Still, the majority of Americans, 56%, disapprove of the way Biden is handling his job.
With the exception of the lower July reading, Biden's approval rating has ranged between 40% and 44% for the past year, well below the majority-level ratings he received during the first six months of his presidency.
These findings are from a Sept. 1-16 Gallup poll, during which much of the breaking news occurred overseas. In the United Kingdom, a new prime minister was appointed, and Queen Elizabeth II died after 70 years on the throne, while in Ukraine, Ukrainian troops mounted a successful counteroffensive against Russia in the northeastern part of their country.
In the U.S., even as gas prices were lower than earlier in the summer, an unexpected rise in inflation in August sent the stock market plummeting, its worst day since June 2020. But the approval of new COVID-19 booster shots targeting the omicron variant was a brighter spot for the president.
Biden's job rating remains sharply polarized politically, with 86% of Democrats, 7% of Republicans and 39% of independents approving.
Presidential Approval in Historical Context
Biden's current approval rating is roughly in line with the ratings of most of his modern predecessors at the same point in their first terms as president. The timing is significant because it is two months before the midterm congressional elections, which are widely seen as a referendum on the sitting president.
The approval ratings Gallup has recorded for first-term elected presidents in September before the midterms have ranged narrowly between 40% (for Donald Trump) and 45% (for Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama) for all but two presidents since 1978. George H.W. Bush's approval rating in September 1990 was 73%, and his son George W. Bush's rating was 67% in September 2002. The elder Bush's rating rose after the strong U.S. response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, while the younger Bush's high approval reflected the continuing rally for him after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
First-term elected presidents before Carter generally had higher September job approval ratings, including Dwight Eisenhower (66% in 1954), John Kennedy (63% in 1962) and Richard Nixon (54% in 1970).
Biden's job approval rating remains well below the 50% mark, which has typically resulted in significant losses for the president's party in midterm elections. Biden's current 42% rating is generally in line with five of his seven predecessors' ratings at the same point in their presidencies. In those midterm elections, the president's party lost between 15 and 63 congressional seats. The presidents whose parties suffered greater losses generally had much larger seat majorities in the House of Representatives than Democrats do now.
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Explore President Biden's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.
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