The survey was released on the same day that Gallup announced that Obama's approval rating in his first term was lower than every president's since World War II, except Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Obama carried an average approval rating of 49.1 percent, edging Ford's 47.2 percent over an abbreviated term and Carter's 45.5 percent. Obama was narrowly edged by former President Clinton, who carried a 49.1 percent approval.
"Obama's first-term approval average, like those of most presidents with lower first-term averages, was likely dragged down by a sluggish economy," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones said. "Clinton and Reagan saw higher second-term approval as the economy improved. Obama's approval rating has also shown improvement, with a 48.1% average in his fourth year in office after a 44.4% average in his third year."