President Biden's Approval Rating Declines Slightly In May But Remains High

President Biden's Approval Rating Declines Slightly In May But Remains High

Americans' perceptions of President Biden's first 100 days in office. A statistical study!

Raghavan Mayur
Raghavan Mayur

President Biden's approval rating remains strong despite a slight decline from April.  It is the third consecutive month of decline.  

Investor's Business Daily sponsors the IBD/TIPP Presidential approval poll. Please see the original story published yesterday.

Presidential Job Approval

Job approval is the share of Americans who respond favorably to the question, "In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president, or are you not familiar enough to say one way or the other?"

President Biden's job approval numbers for April:

  • 51% of adults approve of how President Biden is handling his job vs. 53% in April
  • 55% of registered voters approve vs. 59% in April

For comparison, RealClearPolitics average job approval is 53.8%.  RCP is yet to update its table with TIPP results.

Job approval has been around since George Gallup's time, and every pollster uses it.  On the other hand, TIPP went above and beyond two decades ago by innovating and developing our metric, the Presidential Leadership Index.

Presidential Leadership Index

The Presidential Leadership Index considers favorability, job approval, and Presidential leadership as factors in calculating the index.

The three components are equally weighted.  The index typically correlates well with the raw job approval.  It ranges from 0 to 100.  Above 50 is considered positive, while below 50 is considered negative.

This month, the Presidential Leadership Index is 58.9, down from 60.2 in April. The leadership index by party:

  • 89.1 for Democrats,
  • 21.7 for Republicans, and
  • 49.6 for Independents

Except for Republicans, Independents, Conservatives, rural voters, and those aged 65 and up, all demographic groups we track have index readings in the positive zone.

Presidential Leadership Index - May 2021

The Honeymoon

President Biden is still in his honeymoon period, having passed the 100-day mark of his presidency.  Let us compare his honeymoon to three other presidents.  A few points to consider from the chart below.

  • Recent Presidents typically start with higher approvals in their first terms than their second terms. The honeymoons are longer in their first term compared to the second term.
  • Among the four recent Presidents, President Biden at 63.1 started below President Bush (64.6) and above President Trump (49.2). President Obama had the highest starting number at 71.0.
  • President Biden's rate of decline is 1.4 points per month, compared to Obama's (3.2), Trump's (2.2), and Bush's (0.43).
  • So, at this point, President Biden is between President Obama and President Trump.

For our purposes, honeymoons come to an end when the index falls below 50. President Trump did not have a honeymoon, according to this metric.

Grading Biden Performance

Another TIPP innovation is to grade the president using familiar school letter grades.  Let's see how Americans rate Biden's performance in dealing with the coronavirus situation and the economy.

  • 49% give an A or B for his handling of the economy
  • 55% for his handling of the coronavirus situation
  • 48% for his overall performance so far

President Biden is pushing for a significant expansion of infrastructure and social benefits, paid for with tax increases on corporations and investment gains.

President Biden has proposed an additional $2.5 trillion in corporate tax payments over 15 years.  It would fund transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, electric grid modernization, universal broadband access, the manufacturing sector, clean-energy tax credits, and in-home caregiving.

Overall Grade

Nearly one-half (48%) give good grades for President Biden:

  • 80% of Democrats give him a good grade
  • 67% of Republicans give him a D or F
  • 36% of Independents give President Biden a good grade
  • 54% of conservatives give him a D or F
  • 76% of liberals give him an A or B
  • 49% of moderates give him an A or B

President Biden has gotten off to a strong start.

Domestically, he faces challenges such as the influx of Central American immigrants at the southern border, returning to normalcy following the Pandemic, and an economy emerging from recession.

China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea will be the most significant international challenges for President Biden.  As we reported yesterday, both China and Russia are bolstering their soft power by providing timely assistance to countries in need of COVID vaccines.  The United States must effectively counter them. As we showed yesterday, Americans are open to the concept.

The United States requires greater unity now more than ever, and our current leaders' actions must transcend mere words and genuinely reflect the spirit.

While President Biden frequently mentions the importance of unity and coming together in his speeches, he has yet to find an effective way to get the American public to share these values.

In the coming months, tippinsights will be tracking the issues very closely.


Your suggestions are always welcome.  Kindly send them to mayur@technometrica.com.  Each month, we give away a complimentary one-year subscription to the best idea or advice.


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