Gallup: Presidents average 5-point drop

Jan. 20, 2010 at 5:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Newly elected U.S. presidents usually see their approval ratings fall by 5 percentage points in their second years, Gallup analysts say.

In an analysis released Wednesday, Gallup Poll analyst Jeffrey Jones said that starting with President Dwight Eisenhower, chief executives have seen their approval rating drop in the second year of their presidency by an average 5 percentage points.

Jones said only George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush avoided a second-year drop while Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan experienced the greatest declines in public approval from year one to year two.

"Thus, it appears that if significant momentum in either direction is established over the course of a president's first year in office, that momentum has carried over into the second year," Jones said.

He noted that President Barack Obama began the second year of his presidency Wednesday after averaging 57 percent job approval during his first year in office, but with recent approval ratings hovering around the 50 percent mark -- not a good sign for his second year, based on historical patterns in Gallup's data.

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