Skip to main content
WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [name] => biden-approval-rating [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog ) [query_vars] => Array ( [name] => biden-approval-rating [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [tag] => [cat] => [tag_id] => [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [paged] => 0 [meta_key] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( ) [category__not_in] => Array ( ) [category__and] => Array ( ) [post__in] => Array ( ) [post__not_in] => Array ( ) [post_name__in] => Array ( ) [tag__in] => Array ( ) [tag__not_in] => Array ( ) [tag__and] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__in] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__and] => Array ( ) [post_parent__in] => Array ( ) [post_parent__not_in] => Array ( ) [author__in] => Array ( ) [author__not_in] => Array ( ) [ignore_sticky_posts] => [suppress_filters] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [posts_per_page] => 10 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => [order] => DESC ) [tax_query] => [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( ) [relation] => [meta_table] => [meta_id_column] => [primary_table] => [primary_id_column] => [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( ) [clauses:protected] => Array ( ) [has_or_relation:protected] => ) [date_query] => [queried_object] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8036 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_content] => As President Joe Biden enters the third year of his term, his approval rating is 40 percent, according to polling by Gallup. That’s only two points above his all-time low of 38 percent in July of 2022 and far from his high of 57 percent at the beginning of his presidency. [stat align="left" number="45%" text="Biden's Average Approval Rating"] Overall, Biden has averaged a 45-percent approval rating throughout his term, which is generally considered low—and that could present problems for his administration moving forward.

What is an Approval Rating?

A president’s approval rating, which is polling that indicates the percentage of Americans who approve of the president’s performance, is more than a measure of popularity. It is a metric that can impact everything from legislation to elections. While Gallup has tracked presidential approval for 70 years, it is not the only organization to do so. Ipsos, Morning Consult, Harris, and other polling organizations also do their own tracking. FiveThirtyEight averages many of these measures; their calculation in December put Biden’s approval rating at 43.2 percent. Of course, other politicians, such as governors, and political bodies, such as Congress, also have approval ratings. For example, Gallup put Congressional approval at 22 percent in December of 2022. Regardless of the source, low numbers generally make the job harder. “The difference between having a very strong approval rating and a very weak one can be the difference between getting things done and struggling,” said ABC News Political Director Rick Klein. “A strong approval rating means that you've got a strong hand in dealing with Congress, in getting public support for things and getting your party on board for your major initiatives,” he said.

How Biden’s Approval Rating Compares

Both Biden’s current approval rating and the average for his presidency are lower than many of his predecessors. The average approval rating for all presidents going back to 1938, according to Gallup, is 53 percent. The average for that same group at the end of their second year (the eighth quarter) is 54 percent. Among elected presidents over the last five decades, only Donald Trump had a lower rating—39 percent—at this time in his presidency, according to Gallup. All others had higher approval than Biden, though the margin varies widely. Some beat Biden by only a single percentage point while others topped him by more than 20 points. For example, here are recent presidents at the two-year mark:
  • Donald Trump, 39 percent
  • Barack Obama, 46 percent
  • George W. Bush, 63 percent
  • Bill Clinton, 41 percent
  • George H.W. Bush, 61 percent
  • Ronald Reagan, 41 percent
  • Jimmy Carter, 51 percent
  • Richard Nixon, 52 percent
Go back farther and there are larger margins. John F. Kennedy, for example, had a 76-percent rating at this point in his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower had a 70-percent approval rating.

Why is Biden’s Approval Rating So Low?

Interestingly, Biden’s approval rating remained steady after the 2022 midterm elections, in which Democrats lost the House by a thin margin, retained the Senate and stopped a “red wave” of Republican victories that some analysts predicted. But the truth is that Biden’s presidency has faced major headwinds in the form of high inflation that is driving up the cost of living for many Americans. Inflation rose above 9 percent in June before falling to 7.1 percent in November, numbers not seen in decades. The average price of gas nationwide shot above $5 a gallon in June before falling in subsequent months. Economic factors like these, which hit voters directly, can take a major toll on a president’s approval rating. There can be other factors as well. For example, how Biden handled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korean missile tests, immigration, border security and other matters of foreign and domestic policy can all have an impact on approval ratings, which can swing widely over the course of any presidency.

Is Approval Rating Still a Useful Metric?

While presidential approval ratings are an easy-to-understand measure, some analysts say they are not as useful as they once were. The reason: ever more extreme partisanship. With American politics severely polarized, it's an open question whether approval is based on a true evaluation or just party affiliation. “Presidential approval ratings have always been partisan, with members of the president’s party offering more positive assessments than those in the opposing party,” according to the Pew Research Center. “But the differences between Republicans and Democrats on views of the president have grown substantially in recent decades.” Decades ago, president Dwight Eisenhower had a 39-point partisan gap in his approval between the percentage of Republicans who approved of his performance and the percentage of Democrats. More recent presidents have seen that gap grow far larger. For example, in Gallup's latest numbers, 85 percent of Democrats approved of the job Biden is doing but only 6 percent of Republicans did so—a gap of 79 points.

How Approval Ratings Are Used

Despite partisanship, approval ratings will likely continue to be a well-watched metric because they help interpret the political landscape. For example, members of Congress are more likely to support legislation proposed by a president with high approval ratings. Similarly, a president with high ratings can do more to help members of Congress get reelected. They can campaign actively, or they may have "coattails" that are favorable to members of their party. By contrast, a president with low ratings may have to limit activity during election season or risk hurting members of their party. Approval ratings are also an indicator of how the president and their party will fare when they face voters themselves—and in this case, the numbers seem to matter. Gallup approval ratings show that presidents who win a second term tend to have approval ratings above 50 percent. Between 1980 and 2020, only President George W. Bush won a second term with less (48 percent). George H.W. Bush (34 percent) and Jimmy Carter (37 percent) both lost their elections for a second term. Of course, this makes sense. If voters approve of the job the president is doing, they are more likely to turn out and show support. If they don’t, then they are less likely to do so. Many will be watching Biden’s approval rating in the next two years as an indicator of how he will perform in the 2024 presidential race, where he intends to seek a second term. As Klein put it, it can “be the difference between your party's staying in power or not.” [post_title] => What is Biden's Approval Rating & How Is It Tracked? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => biden-approval-rating [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8036 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 8036 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'biden-approval-rating' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8036 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_content] => As President Joe Biden enters the third year of his term, his approval rating is 40 percent, according to polling by Gallup. That’s only two points above his all-time low of 38 percent in July of 2022 and far from his high of 57 percent at the beginning of his presidency. [stat align="left" number="45%" text="Biden's Average Approval Rating"] Overall, Biden has averaged a 45-percent approval rating throughout his term, which is generally considered low—and that could present problems for his administration moving forward.

What is an Approval Rating?

A president’s approval rating, which is polling that indicates the percentage of Americans who approve of the president’s performance, is more than a measure of popularity. It is a metric that can impact everything from legislation to elections. While Gallup has tracked presidential approval for 70 years, it is not the only organization to do so. Ipsos, Morning Consult, Harris, and other polling organizations also do their own tracking. FiveThirtyEight averages many of these measures; their calculation in December put Biden’s approval rating at 43.2 percent. Of course, other politicians, such as governors, and political bodies, such as Congress, also have approval ratings. For example, Gallup put Congressional approval at 22 percent in December of 2022. Regardless of the source, low numbers generally make the job harder. “The difference between having a very strong approval rating and a very weak one can be the difference between getting things done and struggling,” said ABC News Political Director Rick Klein. “A strong approval rating means that you've got a strong hand in dealing with Congress, in getting public support for things and getting your party on board for your major initiatives,” he said.

How Biden’s Approval Rating Compares

Both Biden’s current approval rating and the average for his presidency are lower than many of his predecessors. The average approval rating for all presidents going back to 1938, according to Gallup, is 53 percent. The average for that same group at the end of their second year (the eighth quarter) is 54 percent. Among elected presidents over the last five decades, only Donald Trump had a lower rating—39 percent—at this time in his presidency, according to Gallup. All others had higher approval than Biden, though the margin varies widely. Some beat Biden by only a single percentage point while others topped him by more than 20 points. For example, here are recent presidents at the two-year mark:
  • Donald Trump, 39 percent
  • Barack Obama, 46 percent
  • George W. Bush, 63 percent
  • Bill Clinton, 41 percent
  • George H.W. Bush, 61 percent
  • Ronald Reagan, 41 percent
  • Jimmy Carter, 51 percent
  • Richard Nixon, 52 percent
Go back farther and there are larger margins. John F. Kennedy, for example, had a 76-percent rating at this point in his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower had a 70-percent approval rating.

Why is Biden’s Approval Rating So Low?

Interestingly, Biden’s approval rating remained steady after the 2022 midterm elections, in which Democrats lost the House by a thin margin, retained the Senate and stopped a “red wave” of Republican victories that some analysts predicted. But the truth is that Biden’s presidency has faced major headwinds in the form of high inflation that is driving up the cost of living for many Americans. Inflation rose above 9 percent in June before falling to 7.1 percent in November, numbers not seen in decades. The average price of gas nationwide shot above $5 a gallon in June before falling in subsequent months. Economic factors like these, which hit voters directly, can take a major toll on a president’s approval rating. There can be other factors as well. For example, how Biden handled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korean missile tests, immigration, border security and other matters of foreign and domestic policy can all have an impact on approval ratings, which can swing widely over the course of any presidency.

Is Approval Rating Still a Useful Metric?

While presidential approval ratings are an easy-to-understand measure, some analysts say they are not as useful as they once were. The reason: ever more extreme partisanship. With American politics severely polarized, it's an open question whether approval is based on a true evaluation or just party affiliation. “Presidential approval ratings have always been partisan, with members of the president’s party offering more positive assessments than those in the opposing party,” according to the Pew Research Center. “But the differences between Republicans and Democrats on views of the president have grown substantially in recent decades.” Decades ago, president Dwight Eisenhower had a 39-point partisan gap in his approval between the percentage of Republicans who approved of his performance and the percentage of Democrats. More recent presidents have seen that gap grow far larger. For example, in Gallup's latest numbers, 85 percent of Democrats approved of the job Biden is doing but only 6 percent of Republicans did so—a gap of 79 points.

How Approval Ratings Are Used

Despite partisanship, approval ratings will likely continue to be a well-watched metric because they help interpret the political landscape. For example, members of Congress are more likely to support legislation proposed by a president with high approval ratings. Similarly, a president with high ratings can do more to help members of Congress get reelected. They can campaign actively, or they may have "coattails" that are favorable to members of their party. By contrast, a president with low ratings may have to limit activity during election season or risk hurting members of their party. Approval ratings are also an indicator of how the president and their party will fare when they face voters themselves—and in this case, the numbers seem to matter. Gallup approval ratings show that presidents who win a second term tend to have approval ratings above 50 percent. Between 1980 and 2020, only President George W. Bush won a second term with less (48 percent). George H.W. Bush (34 percent) and Jimmy Carter (37 percent) both lost their elections for a second term. Of course, this makes sense. If voters approve of the job the president is doing, they are more likely to turn out and show support. If they don’t, then they are less likely to do so. Many will be watching Biden’s approval rating in the next two years as an indicator of how he will perform in the 2024 presidential race, where he intends to seek a second term. As Klein put it, it can “be the difference between your party's staying in power or not.” [post_title] => What is Biden's Approval Rating & How Is It Tracked? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => biden-approval-rating [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8036 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8036 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-01-03 20:10:52 [post_content] => As President Joe Biden enters the third year of his term, his approval rating is 40 percent, according to polling by Gallup. That’s only two points above his all-time low of 38 percent in July of 2022 and far from his high of 57 percent at the beginning of his presidency. [stat align="left" number="45%" text="Biden's Average Approval Rating"] Overall, Biden has averaged a 45-percent approval rating throughout his term, which is generally considered low—and that could present problems for his administration moving forward.

What is an Approval Rating?

A president’s approval rating, which is polling that indicates the percentage of Americans who approve of the president’s performance, is more than a measure of popularity. It is a metric that can impact everything from legislation to elections. While Gallup has tracked presidential approval for 70 years, it is not the only organization to do so. Ipsos, Morning Consult, Harris, and other polling organizations also do their own tracking. FiveThirtyEight averages many of these measures; their calculation in December put Biden’s approval rating at 43.2 percent. Of course, other politicians, such as governors, and political bodies, such as Congress, also have approval ratings. For example, Gallup put Congressional approval at 22 percent in December of 2022. Regardless of the source, low numbers generally make the job harder. “The difference between having a very strong approval rating and a very weak one can be the difference between getting things done and struggling,” said ABC News Political Director Rick Klein. “A strong approval rating means that you've got a strong hand in dealing with Congress, in getting public support for things and getting your party on board for your major initiatives,” he said.

How Biden’s Approval Rating Compares

Both Biden’s current approval rating and the average for his presidency are lower than many of his predecessors. The average approval rating for all presidents going back to 1938, according to Gallup, is 53 percent. The average for that same group at the end of their second year (the eighth quarter) is 54 percent. Among elected presidents over the last five decades, only Donald Trump had a lower rating—39 percent—at this time in his presidency, according to Gallup. All others had higher approval than Biden, though the margin varies widely. Some beat Biden by only a single percentage point while others topped him by more than 20 points. For example, here are recent presidents at the two-year mark:
  • Donald Trump, 39 percent
  • Barack Obama, 46 percent
  • George W. Bush, 63 percent
  • Bill Clinton, 41 percent
  • George H.W. Bush, 61 percent
  • Ronald Reagan, 41 percent
  • Jimmy Carter, 51 percent
  • Richard Nixon, 52 percent
Go back farther and there are larger margins. John F. Kennedy, for example, had a 76-percent rating at this point in his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower had a 70-percent approval rating.

Why is Biden’s Approval Rating So Low?

Interestingly, Biden’s approval rating remained steady after the 2022 midterm elections, in which Democrats lost the House by a thin margin, retained the Senate and stopped a “red wave” of Republican victories that some analysts predicted. But the truth is that Biden’s presidency has faced major headwinds in the form of high inflation that is driving up the cost of living for many Americans. Inflation rose above 9 percent in June before falling to 7.1 percent in November, numbers not seen in decades. The average price of gas nationwide shot above $5 a gallon in June before falling in subsequent months. Economic factors like these, which hit voters directly, can take a major toll on a president’s approval rating. There can be other factors as well. For example, how Biden handled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korean missile tests, immigration, border security and other matters of foreign and domestic policy can all have an impact on approval ratings, which can swing widely over the course of any presidency.

Is Approval Rating Still a Useful Metric?

While presidential approval ratings are an easy-to-understand measure, some analysts say they are not as useful as they once were. The reason: ever more extreme partisanship. With American politics severely polarized, it's an open question whether approval is based on a true evaluation or just party affiliation. “Presidential approval ratings have always been partisan, with members of the president’s party offering more positive assessments than those in the opposing party,” according to the Pew Research Center. “But the differences between Republicans and Democrats on views of the president have grown substantially in recent decades.” Decades ago, president Dwight Eisenhower had a 39-point partisan gap in his approval between the percentage of Republicans who approved of his performance and the percentage of Democrats. More recent presidents have seen that gap grow far larger. For example, in Gallup's latest numbers, 85 percent of Democrats approved of the job Biden is doing but only 6 percent of Republicans did so—a gap of 79 points.

How Approval Ratings Are Used

Despite partisanship, approval ratings will likely continue to be a well-watched metric because they help interpret the political landscape. For example, members of Congress are more likely to support legislation proposed by a president with high approval ratings. Similarly, a president with high ratings can do more to help members of Congress get reelected. They can campaign actively, or they may have "coattails" that are favorable to members of their party. By contrast, a president with low ratings may have to limit activity during election season or risk hurting members of their party. Approval ratings are also an indicator of how the president and their party will fare when they face voters themselves—and in this case, the numbers seem to matter. Gallup approval ratings show that presidents who win a second term tend to have approval ratings above 50 percent. Between 1980 and 2020, only President George W. Bush won a second term with less (48 percent). George H.W. Bush (34 percent) and Jimmy Carter (37 percent) both lost their elections for a second term. Of course, this makes sense. If voters approve of the job the president is doing, they are more likely to turn out and show support. If they don’t, then they are less likely to do so. Many will be watching Biden’s approval rating in the next two years as an indicator of how he will perform in the 2024 presidential race, where he intends to seek a second term. As Klein put it, it can “be the difference between your party's staying in power or not.” [post_title] => What is Biden's Approval Rating & How Is It Tracked? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => biden-approval-rating [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-01 02:51:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8036 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 10d0f3478ba32c639c942566868e9305 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 8036
Blog

What is Biden’s Approval Rating & How Is It Tracked?

What is Biden’s Approval Rating & How Is It Tracked?

As President Joe Biden enters the third year of his term, his approval rating is 40 percent, according to polling by Gallup. That’s only two points above his all-time low of 38 percent in July of 2022 and far from his high of 57 percent at the beginning of his presidency.

45%
Biden's Average Approval Rating

Overall, Biden has averaged a 45-percent approval rating throughout his term, which is generally considered low—and that could present problems for his administration moving forward.

What is an Approval Rating?

A president’s approval rating, which is polling that indicates the percentage of Americans who approve of the president’s performance, is more than a measure of popularity. It is a metric that can impact everything from legislation to elections.

While Gallup has tracked presidential approval for 70 years, it is not the only organization to do so. Ipsos, Morning Consult, Harris, and other polling organizations also do their own tracking. FiveThirtyEight averages many of these measures; their calculation in December put Biden’s approval rating at 43.2 percent. Of course, other politicians, such as governors, and political bodies, such as Congress, also have approval ratings. For example, Gallup put Congressional approval at 22 percent in December of 2022.

Regardless of the source, low numbers generally make the job harder.

“The difference between having a very strong approval rating and a very weak one can be the difference between getting things done and struggling,” said ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.

“A strong approval rating means that you’ve got a strong hand in dealing with Congress, in getting public support for things and getting your party on board for your major initiatives,” he said.

How Biden’s Approval Rating Compares

Both Biden’s current approval rating and the average for his presidency are lower than many of his predecessors. The average approval rating for all presidents going back to 1938, according to Gallup, is 53 percent. The average for that same group at the end of their second year (the eighth quarter) is 54 percent.

Among elected presidents over the last five decades, only Donald Trump had a lower rating—39 percent—at this time in his presidency, according to Gallup. All others had higher approval than Biden, though the margin varies widely. Some beat Biden by only a single percentage point while others topped him by more than 20 points. For example, here are recent presidents at the two-year mark:

  • Donald Trump, 39 percent
  • Barack Obama, 46 percent
  • George W. Bush, 63 percent
  • Bill Clinton, 41 percent
  • George H.W. Bush, 61 percent
  • Ronald Reagan, 41 percent
  • Jimmy Carter, 51 percent
  • Richard Nixon, 52 percent

Go back farther and there are larger margins. John F. Kennedy, for example, had a 76-percent rating at this point in his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower had a 70-percent approval rating.

Why is Biden’s Approval Rating So Low?

Interestingly, Biden’s approval rating remained steady after the 2022 midterm elections, in which Democrats lost the House by a thin margin, retained the Senate and stopped a “red wave” of Republican victories that some analysts predicted.

But the truth is that Biden’s presidency has faced major headwinds in the form of high inflation that is driving up the cost of living for many Americans. Inflation rose above 9 percent in June before falling to 7.1 percent in November, numbers not seen in decades. The average price of gas nationwide shot above $5 a gallon in June before falling in subsequent months. Economic factors like these, which hit voters directly, can take a major toll on a president’s approval rating.

There can be other factors as well. For example, how Biden handled the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korean missile tests, immigration, border security and other matters of foreign and domestic policy can all have an impact on approval ratings, which can swing widely over the course of any presidency.

Is Approval Rating Still a Useful Metric?

While presidential approval ratings are an easy-to-understand measure, some analysts say they are not as useful as they once were. The reason: ever more extreme partisanship. With American politics severely polarized, it’s an open question whether approval is based on a true evaluation or just party affiliation.

“Presidential approval ratings have always been partisan, with members of the president’s party offering more positive assessments than those in the opposing party,” according to the Pew Research Center. “But the differences between Republicans and Democrats on views of the president have grown substantially in recent decades.”

Decades ago, president Dwight Eisenhower had a 39-point partisan gap in his approval between the percentage of Republicans who approved of his performance and the percentage of Democrats. More recent presidents have seen that gap grow far larger. For example, in Gallup’s latest numbers, 85 percent of Democrats approved of the job Biden is doing but only 6 percent of Republicans did so—a gap of 79 points.

How Approval Ratings Are Used

Despite partisanship, approval ratings will likely continue to be a well-watched metric because they help interpret the political landscape.

For example, members of Congress are more likely to support legislation proposed by a president with high approval ratings. Similarly, a president with high ratings can do more to help members of Congress get reelected. They can campaign actively, or they may have “coattails” that are favorable to members of their party. By contrast, a president with low ratings may have to limit activity during election season or risk hurting members of their party.

Approval ratings are also an indicator of how the president and their party will fare when they face voters themselves—and in this case, the numbers seem to matter. Gallup approval ratings show that presidents who win a second term tend to have approval ratings above 50 percent. Between 1980 and 2020, only President George W. Bush won a second term with less (48 percent). George H.W. Bush (34 percent) and Jimmy Carter (37 percent) both lost their elections for a second term.

Of course, this makes sense. If voters approve of the job the president is doing, they are more likely to turn out and show support. If they don’t, then they are less likely to do so. Many will be watching Biden’s approval rating in the next two years as an indicator of how he will perform in the 2024 presidential race, where he intends to seek a second term. As Klein put it, it can “be the difference between your party’s staying in power or not.”