Special Report

The Final Approval Rating of Every President Since Harry Truman

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Barack Obama
> Years in office: 2009-2017
> Approval rating last week of office: 59% (Overall average: 48%)
> Disapproval rating last week of office: 37%

Barack Obama was the first African American to be president of the United States. His signature legislative achievement during his eight years at the White House is the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which was signed into law in 2010. The law, which considerably increased the share of Americans with health insurance, was challenged at the Supreme Court several times. It is still a deeply divisive issue.

Towards the end of his presidency, Obama sought to improve relations with Cuba and became the first sitting president to visit the Communist island since 1928. He signed a historic agreement between the U.S., the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the European Union, and Iran to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Source: Pool / Getty Images

Donald Trump
> Years in office: 2017-2021
> Approval rating last week of office: 34% (Overall average: 41%)
> Disapproval rating last week of office: N/A

President Donald Trump left office with an approval rating of 34%, the lowest rating of his presidency, according to a Gallup poll conducted between Jan. 4-15. His presidency had the weakest overall approval rating of any of his predecessors since the survey began.

Support for Trump has started to fall below 40% in June amid racial justice protests after the death of George Floyd who was killed by police during an arrest, and due to criticisms over Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s final two weeks in office were marked by a deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Congress impeached the president, again, for inciting the insurrection. Trump is the only president to be impeached twice. He was acquitted both time. Around the presidential election in November, Trump’s approval rating was 46%. The 12 percentage points drop in popularity between Election Day and his last week in office is the biggest drop in the poll’s history.

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