Gallup Poll: Obama Overall Average Approval Rating Lower Than Nixon, Bush

U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the Brady Press Breifing Room at the White House December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. In what could be the last press conference of his presidency, afterwards Obama will be leaving for his annual family vacation in Hawaii. (Photo …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama had an overall average approval rating of 47.9 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

Obama is behind Richard Nixon, who resigned from office, and George W. Bush, who had an approval rating drop to 25 percent toward the end of his term, CNS News reported.

Only three presidents had a lower average approval rating since Gallup started doing these surveys in 1945: Gerald Ford (47.2 percent), Jimmy Carter (45.4 percent), and Harry Truman (45.4 percent).

It is true that Obama’s approval ratings went up toward the end of his term to 57 percent in the IBD/TIPP poll, a number that got widespread coverage from the press.

Obama also got high approval ratings when he first entered office, which were also widely covered by the press. His approval rating in the IBD/TIPP poll at the time was 75.3 percent.

But Obama’s approval ratings while he actually governed tell a different story.

“After his first year, he received sustained majority approval only once more during his first term in office,” Gallup notes. “Shortly after his second term began, his support dipped back into the 40s and did not return to the majority level again until his final year in office.”

The public liked Obama when he first took office and when he was on his way out, but consistently disapproved of Obama the majority of his time in office.

Gallup reported that Obama’s lowest approval ratings coincided with the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011, employment, and when ISIS released videos showing beheadings of U.S. journalists captured overseas.


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