Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 4, 2022

Other presidents have had lower approval ratings than Biden

If Your Time is short

  • Joe Biden recently clocked the lowest approval rating in his presidency, according to one poll. But it’s not the lowest of any president ever. 
  • Comparing approval ratings among presidents at about a year into their presidency, former President Donald Trump had the lowest approval rating.

Nearing the end of President Joe Biden’s first year in office, some social media users are casting doubt on his election by comparing the popular vote to poll numbers. 

"Biden got 80 million vote(s) (more than any president ever), yet has the lowest approval rating of any president ever," one Dec. 29 post says

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Biden won more than 81 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, more than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history and about 7 million more votes than former President Donald Trump received in 2016.

On Dec. 20, NPR, PBS and the Marist Poll released the results of a new survey of 1,400 Americans in mid-December. The poll found that Biden’s job approval rating was 41%, the lowest score of his presidency.

But it’s not the lowest approval rating of any president ever, as the Facebook post claims. 

In November, for example, NPR and the Marist Poll released the results of another survey that found Biden’s approval rating at 42% among all Americans. "When comparing Biden to his predecessor, the latest number is just below the highest approval rating (44%) Donald Trump received in our polls during his four years in office," the Marist Poll said then.

Featured Fact-check

The Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center, drawn from Gallup polls dating back to the Truman presidency, also shows that Biden doesn’t have the lowest approval rating ever. 

Former Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush all had approval ratings below 30%. 


In October, CNN used the Gallup data to conclude that Biden had the second-lowest approval rating of any president that Gallup had measured at that moment in their presidency, about nine months into their term. Trump had a lower rating — 37%. Looking at the most recent data available from Gallup, that was still true. 

FiveThirtyEight, which also looks at Biden’s popularity and how he compares with past presidents, reached the same conclusion.  

We rate this post False.


Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

Other presidents have had lower approval ratings than Biden

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up