Why Biden's Approval Rating Has Barely Budged In His First 6 Months

fivethirtyeight.com
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The first six months in the White House are often frenzied for presidents as they push for big policy changes to try to live up to their campaign promises. Pres…
The first six months in the White House are often frenzied for presidents as they push for big policy changes to try to live up to their campaign promises. President Biden is no exception. In his first 100 days in office, he signed dozens of executive actions and pursued sweeping legislation, like his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, which offered Americans further relief from the pandemic, and his ambitious two-step infrastructure plan. The hope for Biden, as with most presidents, is that his accomplishments will placate Americans who already support him while also winning over some who don't.

But as it turns out, few Americans have changed their minds since the 2020 election. Biden's job approval rating over his first six months in office was the steadiest such rating of any recent president during that period, according to FiveThirtyEight's historical approval rating data. His approval has ranged from a high of 55.1 percent on March 22 to a low of 51.1 percent on July 15 — a difference of just 4 percentage points, as the chart below shows.

Biden's steady approval rating outdid even that of former President Donald Trump, whose numbers were notoriously steady. Trump's approval numbers had about a 10-point spread, from 38.0 percent to 47.8 percent in his first six months in office. Other recent presidents, such as Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, all saw considerably more volatility in their ratings during the same period in office.

Biden's fairly static numbers are at least in part a reflection of the lack of major scandals in his administration as well as its avoidance, for now, of deeply unpopular policies — developments that have tripped up some of his predecessors. For instance, Trump's approval rating dipped in March and April 2017 as the GOP began its push to pass health care legislation that was very unpopular in the polls. And Clinton's approval fell all the way into the upper 30s in June 1993 as his economic agenda struggled to…
Geoffrey Skelley
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