Biden's Approval Rating Nosedived in 2021 But He Still Ends First Year Better Than Trump

President Joe Biden's approval rating has declined significantly since he entered office, but he's still ending his first year in office better than his predecessor Donald Trump.

According to Gallup, Biden started out his presidency with an approval rating of 57 percent. While it remained in the mid-50s for the first several months of his presidency, the rating has been in decline since June.

By mid-December, Biden's approval rating had fallen by 14 points to 43 percent.

Still, the numbers are better than Trump at the end of his first year in office in 2017. The Republican had a 39 percent approval rating in the final poll conducted by Gallup that year, after starting his presidency at 45 percent approval.

"Trump started at the same point Biden has fallen to and so I think it's remarkable that in the midst of a massive COVID spike with the Omicron variant and the economic strain that everybody's under, Biden is still holding at a point better than Trump," Douglas Herman, a Democratic consultant who was the lead mail strategist for Barack Obama's campaigns, told Newsweek.

Biden has seen some major legislative wins in his first year: the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan to provide relief amid the coronavirus pandemic and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law.

"The American people sent us here to deliver. The American people sent us here to make the government work," Biden said last month during a cabinet meeting about the implementation of the infrastructure package. "They sent us here to make a difference in their lives. And I believe we're doing that."

But the administration is ending the year with several ongoing crises, including a coronavirus surge driven by Omicron, deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and the stalling of Biden's cornerstone legislation the Build Back Better Act.

One top pollster previously told Newsweek: "His fundamental problem is the country is still not feeling good about itself, and it's on his watch now."

The White House and Biden himself have shrugged off his sinking poll numbers. Last month, press secretary Jen Psaki attributed Biden's low numbers to "fatigue" from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We see that in poll after poll...People are sick and tired of COVID and the impacts on the economy. We understand that; we're tired of it too. That's why this is the number-one priority—continues to be—getting COVID under control."

Biden said the polls are "going to go up and down" and that he didn't run for the White House to "determine how well I'm going to do in the polls."

Still, some party operatives have expressed concern that Biden's low approval may hurt Democrats going into the 2022 midterm elections as the party seeks to maintain control in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Herman said, "anytime you've got numbers that are going down, there's a cause for concern" but he believed Biden could make up the ground.

"I think he's got a fighting and competitive chance by gaining five or six points, and given what's going on, he should be able to do that," Herman told Newsweek.

Biden vs Trump Polling 1st Year
Polling shows Joe Biden is ending his first year in office with a higher approval rating than his predecessor Donald Trump in 2017. Here, Biden speaks during a meeting with his administration's Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs in the South Court Auditorium of the White House December 22 in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images