Approval Ratings

Measures for presidents and other officeholders.

Take a look at this Gallup summary, a comprehensive data set that shows president’s average approval rating over their entire time in office, by term, and then highs and lows. Approval ratings are often used as a way to determine if an elected official can be reelected, along with a variety of other factors. After you scroll through and look closely at the tables, compare the line graphs for each presidency.


1.  Which presidents maintained higher approval ratings? Which ones were lower? Which ones fluctuated? Why?

2. Pick one president of your choice. Take a long look at his approval rating over his term in office. When did the president experience a spike or a dip in approval? What presidential action (or inaction) caused this?

3.  In general, what are the factors that lead to an increase or decrease in approval ratings?