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How does Biden’s approval rating stack up to past presidents’?

April 21, 2021, 7:38 PM UTC

Fresh off an election win, new commanders-in-chief usually spend their first months in office near their high-water mark for popularity. That’s why, historically speaking, presidents are pretty productive during those first 100 days in office. It’s easier to get stuff done when the country is on your side.

But all presidential honeymoons aren’t created equally. That begs the question: How does the approval rating of President Joe Biden—who’s been in office 92 days—stack up to past occupants at the same time in their presidencies?

As of Wednesday, 53.4% of Americans approve of Biden, according to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation of leading pollsters. Meanwhile, 40.1% of Americans disapprove of the job he’s doing in the White House.

After his first three months, Biden approval rating is higher than Donald Trump’s (41.9%) and Bill Clinton’s (52.9%) approvals were at the same point in their presidencies. However, it’s lower than the approval ratings of Barack Obama (60.2%), George W. Bush (56.2%), and Ronald Reagan (67.6%) at the 92-day mark.

History suggests Biden’s reelection odds will be strong if he can hold onto his current approval rating of 53.4%. After all, every modern president who went into election day with an approval rating above 50% has won. That includes Obama (52%), Clinton (54%), and Reagan (58%). Only George W. Bush (48%) has won reelection with an approval under 50%.

So far, President Biden’s big political moves have been pretty popular. That includes his first major piece of legislation: the $1.9 trillion economic aid package he signed into law in March. Among U.S. adults, 70% supported the $1.9 trillion aid bill, according to a Pew Research poll. Next up on Biden’s docket is infrastructure and taxes—a plan that two-thirds of Americans support. The real test for Biden’s public support will come if he attempts to address more politically divided issues such as immigration or climate change.