As he gets ready to head out of the Oval Office and back to life as a private citizen, President Trump just received his final report card—and Gallup notes he's leaving "on a personal low note." In a survey of 1,023 random American adults taken Jan. 4-15, only 34% gave him a thumbs-up for the job he's doing, the lowest score of his presidency, and one point lower than the 35% he hit several times in 2017, such as after the deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. The outgoing commander in chief's overall average approval rating of 41% for his entire presidency is 4 points lower than any other president has received in Gallup's history. And, in a sign of our polarized times, there was a historic 81-percentage-point average gap—more like a chasm—between Democrats and Republicans; the previous record had been 70 percentage points.
Only Harry Truman left with a lower rating, at 32%. Trump tied with Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush for second lowest. Trump is the only president since the analytics company started registering presidential job approval in 1938 to not get over the 50% hump at any point; a 45% rating during his first year was his best. He did get close in 2020, hitting 49% a few times after his first impeachment but before the pandemic began. What did him in toward the end of his tenure, per Gallup: his refusal to concede the election, the continued COVID death toll, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and an unprecedented second impeachment. The numbers are slightly better for him in a final NBC News poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered voters between Jan. 10-13. Trump ends with a 43% approval rating, though nearly half rank him as "definitely worse than most presidents." (Read more President Trump stories.)