Obama's Approval in Third Year: a So-So 44% It's down from 57 in year one and 47 last year By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 21, 2012 10:57 AM CST 176 comments Comments US President Barack Obama salutes as he arrives to speak during a campaign event at the Apollo Theatre in New York on January 19, 2012. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Getty Images) (Newser) – Republicans will like this trend: President Obama's approval rating in his third full year averaged 44%, reports Gallup. That's down from 47% in year two and 57% in year one. The president topped out at 53% in May (around the time of Osama bin Laden's killing) and hit bottom at 38% in August and October. For comparison's sake, Gallup notes that his third-year numbers are pretty low among recent presidents. He beats only Jimmy Carter, who registered 37.4%. Democrats can take hope, though: His numbers have been slowly but steadily rising in recent weeks and are now in the mid-40s. If he can keep improving and get closer to 50% in the all-important fourth year, "that would make him a strong bet for re-election," says the site.