John F. Kennedy ranks highest with an average approval rating of 70.1 percent. He is followed by Dwight Eisenhower (65.0 percent), George H.W. Bush (60.9 percent), Bill Clinton (55.1 percent), Lyndon Johnson (55.1 percent), Ronald Reagan (52.8 percent), George W. Bush (49.4 percent), Barack Obama (47.9 percent), Gerald Ford (47.2 percent), Jimmy Carter (45.5 percent) and Harry Truman (45.4 percent).
“After his first year,” the Gallup analysis said of Obama’s poll numbers, “he received sustained majority approval only once more during his first term in office. Fortunately for him, that came during his 16th quarter in office -- around the time he was re-elected in the fall of 2012. Shortly after his second term began, his support dipped back into the 40s and did not return to the majority level again until his final year in office.”
Obama’s lowest approval ratings coincided with events focused on the debt, employment and the Islamic State, Gallup reports.
“At various points in his presidency his approval ratings dipped to 38%,” said Gallup. “This included in August and October 2011 after contentious negotiations over the debt ceiling limit and subsequent downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. Obama also failed to generate sufficient support for legislation designed to address the still-weak employment situation.
“Obama's approval ratings also fell to 38% in September 2014, shortly after the Islamic State terrorist group released videos showing the beheadings of U.S. journalists captured overseas,” Gallup said.