Barack Obama leaves office with one of the lowest average job approval ratings of any modern presidents. According to Gallup, Mr. Obama’s average job approval rating from Jan. 20, 2009 through Jan. 19, 2017 was 47.9%. Of all twelve post-World War II presidents, the only ones who earned lower average job approval ratings were Gerald Ford (47.2%), Jimmy Carter (45.5%) and Harry Truman (45.4%).
John F. Kennedy had the highest average job approval rating at 70.1%, followed by Dwight Eisenhower (65.0%), George H. W. Bush (60.9%), Bill Clinton (55.1%), Lyndon B. Johnson (55.1%), Ronald Reagan (52.8%), George W. Bush (49.4%), and Richard Nixon (49.0%). Each had an average job approval of near 50% or higher.
Considering his foreign policy failures, anemic economic growth, and divisive rhetoric, Mr. Obama’s low average job approval rating is not surprising. Mr. Trump begins his presidency with a low 45% job approval rating, but if delivers on promises he made during his campaign, that number could grow and he end his first year on a high note.