Washington: President Barack Obama averaged 49.1 per cent job approval during his first term in office, among the lowest for post-World War II US presidents, Gallup said today.
Only Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford had lower job approval averages. Obama`s first-term average is most similar to Bill Clinton`s, it said, ahead of 51-year-old Obama`s second inauguration today.
Obama`s first-term approval average, like those of most presidents with lower first-term averages, was likely dragged down by a sluggish economy. Clinton and Reagan saw higher second-term approval as the economy improved.
Obama`s approval rating has also shown improvement, with a 48.1 per cent average in his fourth year in office after a 44.4 per cent average in his third year.
According to Gallup, Obama`s first term was also notable for the lack of a major surge in support, as occurred for George H W Bush during the Persian Gulf War and George W Bush after 9/11 terror attacks.
Obama did experience a modest and sustained increase in support after the death of Osama bin Laden, it said.
The results are based on aggregated data from Gallup Daily tracking throughout Obama`s first term in office.
Obama`s second term and fifth year in office began yesterday, when he was officially sworn in during a private ceremony, ahead of today`s public celebrations.
"The more recent positive trend in evaluations of Obama is evident in his quarterly averages. For his 16th quarter in office, from October 20 through January 19, he averaged 51.9 per cent approval. That was his first quarterly average above 50 percent since his fourth quarter in office," Gallup said.
"Obama has seen at least modest improvement in his job approval average each of the last five quarters, since a term-low 41.0 per cent in his 11th quarter in office.
That quarter was marked by contentious negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling, and an ensuing drop in the stock market while unemployment remained high," it said.
Gallup said Obama`s 48 per cent job approval average for his entire fourth year is the lowest, tied with Harry Truman, among recent presidents who were successfully re-elected.
The two recent presidents defeated for a second term -- Jimmy Carter and George H W Bush -- averaged roughly 40 per cent job approval in their fourth year in office. Dwight Eisenhower had the highest fourth-year average, exceeding 70 percent, it said.
Compared with the larger set of all 69 presidential years Gallup has measured since 1949, Obama`s 48.1 per cent fourth-year average is below average.
Obama`s 51.9 per cent 16th-quarter average is almost identical to that of his immediate predecessor, George W Bush (51.6 per cent), it said.