Fact-check: Does Biden have 'the lowest approval rating of any president ever'?

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  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States

Facebook post: President Joe Biden “has the lowest approval rating of any president ever.”

PolitiFact's ruling: False

Here's why: Nearing the end of President Joe Biden’s first year in office, some social media users are casting doubt on his election by comparing the popular vote to poll numbers.

"Biden got 80 million vote(s) (more than any president ever), yet has the lowest approval rating of any president ever," one Dec. 29 post says.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

Biden won more than 81 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, more than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history and about 7 million more votes than former President Donald Trump received in 2016.

On Dec. 20, NPR, PBS and the Marist Poll released the results of a new survey of 1,400 Americans in mid-December. The poll found that Biden’s job approval rating was 41%, the lowest score of his presidency.

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But it’s not the lowest approval rating of any president ever, as the Facebook post claims.

In November, for example, NPR and the Marist Poll released the results of another survey that found Biden’s approval rating at 42% among all Americans. "When comparing Biden to his predecessor, the latest number is just below the highest approval rating (44%) Donald Trump received in our polls during his four years in office," the Marist Poll said then.

The Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center, drawn from Gallup polls dating back to the Truman presidency, also shows that Biden doesn’t have the lowest approval rating ever.

Former Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush all had approval ratings below 30%.

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In October, CNN used the Gallup data to conclude that Biden had the second-lowest approval rating of any president that Gallup had measured at that moment in their presidency, about nine months into their term. Trump had a lower rating — 37%. Looking at the most recent data available from Gallup, that was still true.

FiveThirtyEight, which also looks at Biden’s popularity and how he compares with past presidents, reached the same conclusion.

We rate this post False.

Sources

  • Facebook post, Dec. 29, 2021

  • Council on Foreign Relations, The 2020 Election by the Numbers, Dec. 15, 2020

  • NPR, President-Elect Joe Biden Hits 80 Million Votes In Year Of Record Turnout, Nov. 25, 2020

  • Gallup, Presidential Job Approval Center, visited Jan. 4, 2021

  • FiveThirtyEight, How unpopular is Joe Biden?, visited Jan. 4, 2021

  • CNN, Joe Biden’s approval ratings are worse than every recent president -- except 1 -- at this stage, Oct. 26, 2021

  • PBS, Biden’s approval dips to new low as independents sour on his leadership, Dec. 20, 2021

  • Marist Poll, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll: Biden Approval Rating, Dec. 20, 2021

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Does Biden have 'the lowest approval rating of any president ever'?

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