The Number That Will Forecast Biden’s Fate

President Joe Biden holds a milkshake during a quick stop at Cook Out, a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, following an event to promote his economic agenda on January 18, 2024. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

“Only Jimmy Carter fared worse in his third year” is not a welcome phrase for any president seeking reelection. But that’s the grim assessment from Gallup, which found President Joe Biden had a lower job approval rating for his third year in office of any president in seven decades, other than Carter.

Carter’s landslide 1980 defeat is the cautionary tale for all modern presidents, the Herbert Hoover of the late 20th century.

The score was called an “ominous warning” and “dismal.” To be sure, Biden is unpopular. His current average approval rating in our calculations is just above 39 percent, which, when paired with his stubbornly high average disapproval of nearly 58 percent, puts the incumbent more than 18 points underwater.

But do you know who had the lowest third year job approval average since Carter before Biden claimed the title? Donald Trump. And before Trump? Barack Obama.

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