According to polls by Gallup, President Joe Biden's approval rating has been stagnating at a low 41 percent for several months as the Democrats are facing an uphill battle in the upcoming midterms elections. Amid high inflation and stagnating economic growth in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and ensuing sanctions, 87 percent of Americans said they were unhappy with the direction the country was going.
All three most recent U.S. Presidents - Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Barack Obama - saw their popularity deteriorate right at the start of their presidencies. Obama took the biggest plunge but Biden's initial drop in approval comes close. Trump started with a lower approval rating of only around 45 percent, reached a low of 35 percent in August and was back up to 38 percent in September 2017. He was, however, able to surpass his starting approval later, in his fourth year in office, something that never happened for Obama. At 18 months in office, Trump surpasses Biden's approval with 1 percentage point.
Obama's and Trump's approval ratings in relation to the time they had been in office came pretty close to each other in their third year. In early 2020, Trump's ratings picked up, hitting 49 percent at the end of January (month 36) during impeachment hearings in the Senate and overtaking Obama's at the time. According to Gallup, Obama's approval rating was only 45 percent at the same time in January 2012, following low job creation and a feud with the Republicans about raising the debt ceiling. Later in 2012, Obama was able to recover his ratings somewhat and reached 47 percent in late July after the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court.