44.4% Average Approval Rating For President Obama in 2011

Gallup Poll - Barack Obama Approval Ratings - Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3According to Gallup.com, President Barack Obama averaged an approval rating of 44.4% during his third year in office.

This is the second lowest third-year approval rating since Eisenhower held office - only Jimmy Carter (37.4%) had a lower average approval rating during his third year in the White House.

Let's look at Obama's average approval ratings through his first three years in the White House:

Year 1 - 57.2%
Year 2 - 46.7%
Year 3 - 44.4%

Now let's look at how Obama stacks up against former Presidents during their third years in the White House:

Jimmy Carter - 37.4%
Barack Obama - 44.4%
Ronald Reagan - 44.9%
Bill Clinton - 47.5%
Richard Nixon - 49.6%
George W. Bush - 59.6%
John F. Kennedy - 61.8%
George H.W. Bush - 69.5%
Dwight Eisenhower - 72.1%

The bad news for Democrats is that Obama's approval rating is well below average.

The hopeful news for Democrats is that Reagan, Clinton and Nixon all had average third year approval ratings of less than 50%, and all three ended up winning a second term.

Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky, falling to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Presidential election. Ronald Reagan easily won, carrying a total of 44 states and garnering over 50% of the popular vote.


In the cases of Clinton, Reagan and Nixon, all three reported twelfth-quarter (12th quarter in the White House) approval rating averages that were far above Barack Obama's 12th Quarter approval rating. Let's take a look at those:

12th Quarter Approval Ratings:

Richard Nixon - 49.3%
Ronald Reagan - 52.0%
Bill Clinton - 48.8%

Barack Obama - 43.3%

Even Jimmy Carter had a 12th Quarter approval rating of 46.2%, nearly three percent higher than Barack Obama's 12th quarter approval rating.


According to Gallup, the next quarter's approval rating will be crucial for Obama. Each and every President since Eisenhower who has been re-elected has had an approval rating of at least 50% during their 13th quarters in the White House. The three that didn't (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush) were not re-elected.

In short - President Obama's third year average approval numbers are largely irrelevant, but he needs to create some positive momentum for himself, and soon.

Source: Gallup.com - Obama Averages 44% Approval in 3rd Year

Filed under: General Knowledge

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