Monday marked President Donald Trump’s 200th day in office. According to Gallup, 37% of Americans approve of the job the president has done thus far and 59% of Americans disapprove. How does this compare to the job approval ratings of his predecessors at this point in their terms?
The only presidents in the last seven decades to have job approval ratings under 50% after 200 days on the job are Presidents Bill Clinton (44% approve; 48% disapprove) and Gerald Ford (39% approve; 45% disapprove). Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and Harry S. Truman had job approval ratings in the 60 and 70 percentiles. Their disapproval ratings were all under 30%. President George W. Bush was at 57% approve, 35% disapprove after 200 days and President Barack Obama stood at 56% approve, 37% disapprove at the same point.
Mr. Trump’s ratings don’t appear related to the economy or views on the country’s direction, considering other presidents had higher ratings in similar environments. Today 27% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country and 71% of Americans are dissatisfied. This is comparable to Americans’ sentiment at this point in every president’s first year over the last thirty years. Looking at the economy, the unemployment rate stands at 4.3% today. Only Presidents Eisenhower (2.6%) and Nixon (3.5%) had better employment numbers. Time will tell if Mr. Trump developed the message discipline that helps positive news – like how economy is improving under his watch – to break through and lift his job approval numbers.