January 28, 2014

Obama’s approval number is near his lowest as he delivers State of the Union address


President Obama’s job approval rating stands at 43% as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address.

Like many presidents, Barack Obama has seen highs and lows over the course of his time in office when it comes to how well Americans think he is doing his job. In the afterglow of his election in 2008, his first rating started at what still stands as a high—64%. And, after what was sometimes referred to as a “second-term curse” year in 2013, he hit his low last November at 41%.

DN_Obama_AgainWhen Obama takes the rostrum Tuesday night for his fifth State of the Union, he will be speaking at a time when his current approval rating stands at 43%.

Last year was the only time just before a State of the Union that more than half the public gave Obama positive marks for the job he was doing, when 52% approved. Obama was riding the wave of his successful re-election campaign, which put him in a stronger position with the public than he was during much of his first term. He was also helped by the relative poor standing of the Republicans, whose favorable ratings had dropped significantly over the previous months. 

While Obama suffered a difficult year after his re-election victory, his second-term woes are far less than that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, when measured by approval ratings at the beginning of the year.

During his first term, Bush’s approval rating stood at 56% or higher before each of his State of the Union addresses, including a sky-high 80% in Jan. 2002 when he was still benefiting from the high marks Americans gave him for his handling of the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But as the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts began to take their toll in his second term, followed by economic woes, Bush’s ratings nosedived. Bush’s approval stood at 50% before the first State of the Union of his second term (having said after his re-election, “I’ve earned capital in this election—and I’m going to spend it for what I told the people I’d spend it on.”) But his approval dropped into the 30s in advance of every State of the Union after that, settling at a low of 31% before his final address in 2008.

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Presidential Approval

  1. Photo of Bruce Drake

    is a senior editor at Pew Research Center.


  1. nazayia3 years ago

    so what is the lowest state in the us?

  2. Mike Trotter3 years ago

    Come on, stop lying. Obama’s approval rating is 37%. 63% hate this empty suit.

    1. Rick Lamm3 years ago

      I’m thinking it’s got to be lower than that after the 71% of those who voted for his re-election said they regret doing so.

  3. animaltalk20123 years ago

    I can’t wait until this Bozo is out of office.

  4. JP3 years ago

    How does 49 + 43 work out to 100? Eventually this country will wake up and have the revolution we need. The founding fathers would be turning over in their graves if they saw the state of this country in the present day. Affordable health care? sure, that’s why it’s costing me over $600 a month with an $8,000 deductible. I can’t afford to pay that and the last time I checked the government can’t force anyone to buy anything. Once again the administration wiping their backsides with the constitution.

  5. Robert Laney3 years ago

    @Maureen Gooden


  6. Maureen Gooden3 years ago

    How long will the American public continue to accept the lies Obama continues to repeat. He has repeatedly lied about bringing back troops if he was elected and re-elected. That has never happened. How many homeless veterans are there in this country, hungry men who fought for this country and he continues to send $4 million dollar apache helicopters to help in Iran. Oh but don’t forget the jobless people of this country and he can find money an troops to send to Egypt to defend a muslem pharaoh and keep him from being over thrown in his own country. Who and what are the people who continue to support him as he destroys this country?

    1. H3 years ago

      The GOP is destroying the economy of this country. They won’t lift a finger! And what are you talking about? The troops are home. There’s only about 8,000 troops there training others. Get your facts straight dude.

      1. KS3 years ago

        For one, Obama is helping the Syrian rebels (among these rebels are also members of Al-Qaeda), he used kids to defend his “Assault Weapons Ban” (I don’t mind that he tried to take our firearm, but he used kids as a Political Shield), instead of fixing our debt ceiling he raised is (true, Reagan raised it 18 times, but in total it was raised only 1.9 Trillion, Obama only raised it 3 times and you know how much it has gone up? 3 Trillion), ObamaCare charges you for every month you are without insurance (so if you are a single parent of 2 on minimum wage and work at a company that doesn’t give you insurance benefits, money will be removed from your pocket and you’ll still be insuranceless), and he is abusing the Patriot Act by spying on it’s citizens and allies with unapproved wiretapping (I know what your thinking, “oh it was there since the Bush Administration” but obama added an extension called “PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011”. His administration actually goes further and says that Congress sanctioned the abuse of the Patriot Act by failing to stop the administration from abusing it.). I can go on longer, but i have a feeling you are gonna say something to either contradict me, make my credibility seem unworthy, or label/insult me. Take it how you want… the only thing i did was list facts.