Presidential Approval A presidential approvalpoll measures the degree to which Americans approve of the president’s job. The president’s popularity affects presidential power because a popular president is much more likely to persuade reluctant members of Congress or the public than an unpopular one. A high approval rating—60 percent or above—makes a president very strong, whereas a weak rating—below 50 percent—weakens a presidency. Presidential approval sometimes changes dramatically during the president’s term.Example:George H. W. Bush’s approval rating hit extremes that few other presidents have reached within a single term in office (1989–1993). Bush’s approval rating peaked at 89 percent after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. He was defeated in his bid for reelection only eighteen months later, however, after his approval rating dropped to 29 percent at the end of July 1992. He left office with an approval rating of 56 percent.
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President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush