USA Today has an interesting chartof presidential approval ratings, going back to Truman. The first tab is chronological, the second tab is comparison, where you can click on two or more presidents and see how they compare at each point in their presidency. I didn’t realize Eisenhower was above 50% for the bulk of his term, and Kennedy never got much below 60% approval.
Compare Reagan to Bush. Reagan never approached GW’s approval ratings while in office, although most folks look back wistfully on him in retrospect. I’d be surprised if history is as kind to Bush II, although I expect it will be kinder to him than his last term might suggest. Everybody looks better through the fuzzy lens of time.
GW got a HUGE spike after Sept 11, then it went down from there. Hopefully that type of spike is a once in a lifetime occurence.
I approve of this link. Interesting how they all seem to take a huge dive between taking office and leaving it, except most notably Clinton, who started off pretty low (with Reagan seeing a small spike at the end also).
Very interesting. Love the colors, too.
Interesting… Why was Bush I’s approval so high at the beginning of 1991?
I can only assume that was before he broke his campaign promise of “Read my lips…no new taxes.”
I also noticed Clinton and Reagan both had pretty steady numbers. Dips there and there, but overall, they stayed pretty much even.
We were winning a war.
Operation Desert Storm commenced on Jan. 16, 1991 (and as GaryGnu observed, it went relatively well).
:smack: Jeez, Louise, how could I forget Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait???
Ah, thanks. I guess I’d forgotten there was such thing as a popular war…
Interesting. Our current leader rates about average at this point in his tenure, but only because Ford & Clinton were not well liked (yet).
It was a popular war. That and everyone had pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that it would be a long, drawn out war with tens of thousands of casualties. I was in high school and us guys were worried about the possibility of the draft coming back as the war dragged on.
But Bush I and the generals put together one HELL of a strategy to end the war in 100 hours. After that we thought that the U.S. could do absolutely anything.
I’m rather surprised that Carter didn’t get the lowest number out of all. Truman, Nixon, and Bush 43 all went lower. Carter’s lowest was 28%, on May 22, 1979.
Clinton’s chart is the only one that trends upwards over the course of his presidency.
The curves are interestingly similar on average, especially as of the end of the first term or later. Compare George W., Nixon, and Truman, for instance.