Biden's approval rating is very bad because it reflect the quality of his work.

Biden's approval rating is very bad because it reflect the quality of his work.

Biden's approval rating is very bad

Biden's approval rating is very bad

Democrats’ loss in Virginia’s governor race and a closer-than-expected contest in New Jersey this came as a surprise to many. But in retrospect, there was one glaring warning sign: President Joe Biden’s declining approval rating. When presidents have bad approval ratings, their party tends to do poorly in downballot races.

In FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls, Biden’s approval is down to 42.9 percent, with his disapproval rating up to 50.7 percent. It’s obviously not good to be nearly 8 points underwater, but with historical context

Biden’s situation looks even worse.

For one, Biden’s disapproval rating at this point in his term is higher than all but one president’s since the advent of modern polling. Only Donald Trump’s was higher, by about 6 percentage points, per FiveThirtyEight’s historical numbers.

Biden’s approval rating is already lower than Barack Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s were just before their disastrous 2010 and 1994 midterms.Obama’s approval was at 45 percent, and Clinton’s was at 47.2 percent. Democrats lost 63 House of Representatives seats in 2010 and 54 seats in 1994.

As for Trump, Biden’s 42.9 percent approval rating right now is only slightly higher than Trump’s 42 percent on the eve of the 2018 midterms, when Republicans lost 40 House seats.

The one potential silver lining for Biden is that the trajectory of Trump’s numbers shows that some improvement in the second year is possible, albeit rare. Trump’s approval rating hit its lowest point in 2017 but improved by about 5 points over 2018, which likely helped him avoid an even worse midterm defeat. It is possible that if conditions in the country improve, Biden’s numbers could rebound.

Of course, things could also get worse.

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