Heading into Election Day, 40% of Americans approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, 17% are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., 49% describe the health of the economy the economy as poor, and 21% approve of the job the Democratically led Congress is presently doing.
Current ratings of the U.S. economy and national satisfaction are the lowest Gallup has measured at the time of a midterm election over the life of these polling trends, starting in 1994 and 1982, respectively. Congressional and presidential job approval are near their historical low marks.
The political peril of a party led by an unpopular president is apparent in the fact that the incumbent president´s party has lost seats in every midterm election when his approval rating has been below 50%. Seat losses in the House of Representatives for unpopular presidents’ parties have averaged 37 since 1946.
Gallup found that 21% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, essentially the same level of approval as in each of the past four midterm elections.
In 1994, 2010 and 2018, all years when the Congress´ approval rating was between 21% and 23% and the president’s party was in the majority, the incumbent´s party lost between 40 to 63 House seats.
In the nine recent midterm elections in which congressional job approval was at or lower than 35%, the president’s party lost seats in all of those elections, including five in which his party also held the majority in Congress.
This year marks a new low for satisfaction with the way things are going at the time of a midterm election. The 17% of Americans who are satisfied is five percentage points lower than the prior low, 22% in 2010.