President Biden’s approval rating is the second lowest in modern history for a first-term president.
Today, under 40% of Americans approve of his job performance, a level it has hovered around over the last year. According to recent polls, younger Democrats have a lower approval rating of Biden’s handling of the economy compared to older Democrats. Leading up to the election in 2024, the state of the economy is the most important issue among Americans.
This graphic shows approval ratings for first-term U.S. presidents in their third year – and whether or not they were re-elected – based on data from Gallup.
First-Term Presidential Approval Ratings, Ranked
Here’s how Biden’s approval rating in year three stacks up against past U.S. presidents:
Average annual approval ratings from January 20 through to January 19 in the following year. *Approval ratings for Kennedy are from January 20-November 22 1963 due to assassination.
We can see that Biden falls near the bottom, with President Carter being the only president to have lower ratings in their third year.
Biden’s political standing has fallen from a peak of 63% in 2021 given concerns of rising costs and the state of his fitness. The Israel-Hamas war is also weighing on his ratings, with younger Democrats criticizing his handling of the crisis.
While Biden struggles to achieve majority approval, economic indicators have been optimistic. The unemployment rate remains low, GDP growth is strong, and the S&P 500 recently hit record highs. Despite this, Americans are paying attention to the cost of basic goods, which have grown more expensive in the last few years.
The U.S is among the most polarized countries globally, stemming from low trust in the media, economic anxieties, and low trust in the government. As a Biden-Trump rematch looks increasingly likely, political success hinges on who will align most with voter concerns, and whether disaffected Democrats will elect Biden for a second term.