Poll: Joe Biden’s Net Approval Rating Hits Historic Low Compared to Past Presidents

President Joe Biden pauses while speaking as he meets with Angola's President Joao Manuel
Andrew Harnik/AP

President Joe Biden on Wednesday set the record for the worst net approval rating of any president 1,240 days into office dating back more than 70 years, according to FiveThirtyEight’s calculations.

As of 11:31 a.m., Biden’s average approval rating on the ABC News-owned polling aggregator’s website registered at a mere 37.6 percent, while an average of 57 percent disapproved of his performance. This translated to a -19.4 percent net rating for Biden.

The net score puts him in worse shape with the American electorate than any president since the 1940s at similar points in their terms, per FiveThirtyEight. His 37.6 percent approval rating was also lower than that of his predecessors at the same points in their presidencies, except for President George H.W. Bush.

The following is a list of each of the last 13 presidents’ net ratings, followed by their overall approval ratings:

  • Donald J. Trump:           -13.8 percent; 40.9 percent            
  • Barack Obama:               +1.6 percent; 47.5 percent
  • George W. Bush:             -0.8 percent; 47.1 percent
  • Bill Clinton:                     +14 percent; 52.5 percent
  • George H .W. Bush:       -17.6 percent; 37.5 percent
  • Ronald Reagan:              +20.4 percent; 55.2 percent    
  • Jimmy Carter:                  -11.1 percent; 39.8 percent
  • Gerald Ford:                     N/A
  • Richard Nixon:                +27.3 percent; 58.9 percent
  • Lyndon Johnson:            +6.8 percent; 45.7 percent
  • John F. Kennedy:             N/A
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower:   +52 percent; 70.5 percent
  • Harry Truman:                  -7.4 percent; 38.9 percent

Biden’s average approval rating and net rating on FiveThirtyEight did improve marginally later Wednesday once a Big Village poll was factored into the mix. The poll showed him with a 41 percent/53 percent adjusted rating, putting him 12 points underwater.

The poll, taken June 7-9, 2024, among 2,026 adults, translated to a new net-negative average of 18.3 percent and an overall approval rating average of 38.2 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points. The outlier poll was preceded by three surveys showing Biden stuck at 37 percent and was followed by two polls showing him at 38 percent and 36 percent, respectively, per FiveThirtyEight.

With less than five months remaining until the general election, Biden narrowly trailed former President Donald Trump in a three-way race for the presidency in FivethirtyEight’s national aggregate as of Wednesday. Trump registered at 41 percent, followed by Biden at 39.8 percent and independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 9.5 percent. Biden and Trump are set to debate on June 27, while Kennedy is still vying to make the stage.


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