Political News

31 times presidential approval was lower than Trump's (and 256 times it wasn't)

President Donald Trump just finished his ninth month in office and the reviews are in -- and they're not good.

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Ryan Struyk
Sam Petulla (CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Donald Trump just finished his ninth month in office and the reviews are in -- and they're not good.

The President's approval rating during his third quarter in the White House was just 36.9% in daily Gallup tracking polling. That means Trump's number marks the lowest third-quarter approval in seven decades of surveys.

To make matters worse, it was also lower than 9 in 10 presidential quarters measured back to 1945. In fact, in the history of modern polling, this low of an approval rating has never been seen so early in a president's tenure.

Out of the 288 presidential quarters measured by Gallup over more than half a century, only 31 of them have been worse than Trump's latest --- putting it in just the 11th percentile. Keep scrolling for an interactive list of all 288 approval ratings.

The previous instances of an approval this low came toward the end of Harry Truman's term, before the resignation of Richard Nixon, near the failed re-election bids of Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, and the end of George W. Bush's term.

Never during the terms of former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower did their quarterly approval rating fall below 36.9%.

George W. Bush fell below Trump's low approval rating for 10 of his last 11 quarters in office, eventually falling below the 30% mark for his final three quarters. George H.W. Bush briefly fell to 35.2% during his 15th quarter in office --- right before his failed re-election bid against Clinton.

Carter's approval fell below Trump's for five of his last seven quarters in office amid a struggling economy and Iran hostage crisis and Nixon's last five quarters dropped below the threshold during the Watergate scandal, bottoming out at 24%. Truman spent his last two years below Trump's mark, falling as low at 23%, the worst approval rating Gallup has recorded.

Quarterly approval ratings were compiled from Gallup releases over the last several years. If a quarterly approval rating wasn't available --- mostly for Johnson and Truman --- the average of the individual approval ratings during that quarter is used. There were four more quarters -- for Nixon, Ford and Truman -- for which Gallup has no measurements of approval at all.

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