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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 during his presidency. 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. Most often 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 the general opinion of the people.

Contents

Current President Barack Obama

Polling group's most recent poll for President Barack Obama:
Polling Group (Reverse Chronologically) Date Approval Disapproval Other
USA Today/Gallup[2][3] 3/7-9/2010 48% 44% 8%
Rasmussen Reports[4][5] 3/8/2010 46% 54% 0%
Associated Press - GfK[3][6] 3/3-8/2010 53% 46% 1%
Zogby International[7][5] 3/2-4/2010 48% 51% 1%
Ipsos/McClatchy[3] 2/26-28/2010 53% 44% 3%
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics[3] 2/23-24/2010 47% 45% 7%
Newsweek[3] 2/17-18/2010 48% 40% 12%
CNN/Opinion Research[3] 2/12-15/2010 49% 50% 1%
CBS News/New York Times[3] 2/5-10/2010 46% 45% 9%
Pew Research Center[3] 2/3-9/2010 49% 39% 12%
ABC News/Washington Post[3][8] 2/4-8/2010 51% 46% 3%
Quinnipiac University[3] 2/2-8/2010 45% 46% 9%
Marist College[3] 2/1-3/2010 44% 47% 9%
NBC/Wall Street Journal[3][9] 1/23-25/2010 50% 44% 6%
Bloomberg Poll[3][10] 12/3-7/2009 54% 41% 5%

Historical comparison

Obama joins the two most recent fellow Democrats (Clinton and Carter) and two recent Republicans (Reagan and Ford) in falling below 50% approval within the first year in office. While his predecessor, republican George W. Bush, enjoyed high approval ratings throughout his first years, Bush had very low approval numbers by the end of his second term. Historical Gallup Poll approval highs and lows for each President since 1937:[11][12]

Order President P/M[13] Highest Approval Lowest Approval High - Low Highest Disapproval Average [11]
44[2] Obama 29.0 69 (1/22/09) 46 (3/8/10, 3/11/10) 23 48 (3/17/10) 57[14]
43[15] Bush (G.W.) 2.9 90 (9/21/01) 25 (10/3/08, 10/10/08, 10/31/08) 65 71 (10/10/08) 49.4
42[16] Clinton 2.5 73 (12/19/98) 37 (5/26/93) 36 54 (9/6/94) 55.1
41[17] Bush (G.H.W.) 2.8 89 (2/28/91) 29 (7/31/92) 60 60 (7/31/92) 60.9
40[18] Reagan 1.4 68 (5/16/86) 35 (1/28/83) 33 56 (1/28/83) 52.8
39[19] Carter 1.9 75 (3/18/77) 28 (6/29/79) 47 59 (6/29/79) 45.5
38[20] Ford 1.2 71 (8/16/74) 37 (3/28/75) 34 46 (4/18/75, 11/21/75) 47.2
37[21] Nixon 1.4 67 (1/26/73) 24 (8/2/74) 43 66 (8/2/74) 49.1
36[22] Johnson 1.3 79 (2/28/64) 35 (8/7/68) 44 52 (8/7/68, 3/10/68) 55.1
35[23] Kennedy 1.2 83 (3/8/62) 56 (9/12/63) 27 30 (9/12/63, 11/8/63) 70.1
34[24] Eisenhower 1.2 79 (12/14/56) 48 (3/27/58) 31 36 (3/27/58) 65.0
33[25] Truman 0.7 87 (6/1/45) 22 (2/9/52) 68 67 (1/6/52) 45.4
32[26] Roosevelt (F.D.) 1.0 84 (1/8/42) 48 (8/18/39) 36 46 (5/22/38, 5/29/38, 11/7/38)
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Graphs

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

See also

References

  1. ^ "Presidential Approval Ratings – Barack Obama". www.gallup.com. http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/Barack-Obama-Presidential-Job-Approval.aspx. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Gallup.com
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Obama: Job Ratings". www.pollingreport.com. http://www.pollingreport.com/obama_job.htm. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  4. ^ ""Daily Presidential Tracking Poll"". www.rasmussenreports.com. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Rassmussen Reports and Zogby International make undisclosed adjustments to the numbers derived from polling registered voters to estimate the approval rating among "likely voters".
  6. ^ Conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media
  7. ^ "Zogby Interactive: President's Approval Steady and Stable, Continuing Trend". http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1828. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "President Obama's Approval Ratings (washingtonpost.com)". www.washingtonpost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/obama/approval/index.html. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  9. ^ Conducted by the polling organizations of Peter D. Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R)
  10. ^ Conducted by Selzer & Co, Des Moines
  11. ^ a b Gallup.com
  12. ^ Only the results of Gallup polls are included, as no other poll results exist for earlier presidents. The far larger number of polls, using different methods, for recent presidents would result in a wider spread and both higher and lower extremes
  13. ^ Average Gallup Polls per Month taken during presidency (starting in 1937)
  14. ^ http://www.gallup.com/poll/125096/Obama-Averages-Approval-First-Year-Office.aspx
  15. ^ Gallup.com
  16. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Clinton at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
  17. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Bush (G.H.W.) at ibid.
  18. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Reagan at ibid.
  19. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Carter at ibid.
  20. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Ford at ibid.
  21. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Nixon at ibid.
  22. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Johnson at ibid.
  23. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Kennedy at ibid.
  24. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Eisenhower at ibid.
  25. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Truman at ibid.
  26. ^ Job Performance Ratings for President Roosevelt at ibid.

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