Nearly 100 days into his presidency, Joe Biden has maintained a remarkably steady approval rating despite the tenuous state of the economy and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic—marks far better than his predecessor during the same period, but a few ticks below other modern presidents.
Biden’s approval rating hit 60% in an April 9 to April 12 Politico/Morning Consult poll with nearly 2,000 respondents, though his average rating is 53.1% 85 days into his presidency, according to FiveThirtyEight’s running tracker.
By contrast, Donald Trump’s approval rating never cracked 45.5% during the same period of his presidency, and sat at about 41% on day 85.
While Trump’s popularity sagged several points during his first few months in office, Biden’s has consistently remained between 53% and 55%.
Of the last six presidents, only Trump (41.2%) had a lower average approval rating than Biden 85 days in office, though George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both clocked in just a tick higher, at 54.2% and 53.4%, respectively.
Barack Obama’s average approval rating sat at 60.7% on day 85, while George H.W. Bush’s was 59.1% and Ronald Reagan’s 67.6%, the highest of any of the last seven presidents during the same period.
George W. Bush’s average approval rating jumped to nearly 90% after the Sept. 11 attacks, before gradually plummeting to around 27% before he left office.
12. That’s about how many points lower Trump’s average approval rating (41.2%) was through 85 days in office than any of the last seven presidents. Trump’s average popularity never topped 50% during his four-year term.
Presidents typically enjoy a “honeymoon period” during their first 100 days in office. For example, Obama’s average approval rating sat at about 61% 100 days in, but dropped to around 49% by day 365. Historians usually regard a president’s honeymoon period as the time during which they should attempt to push through part of their agenda. In March, Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package—which passed the Senate with zero Republican support—and is now looking to push through a $2 trillion infrastructure bill sometime this summer.
This week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Biden and Democrats for attempting to push through what he called a “far-left” agenda without a commanding majority in Congress. “What I’m concentrating on is the future and what we are confronted with here is a totally left-wing administration, with a slight majority in the House, a 50-50 Senate trying to transform America into something no one voted for last year,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invited Biden to address a joint session of Congress on April 28. The speech is typically viewed as the first major event in a president’s term.