Donald Trump's Average Job Approval Has Increased Each Year Since He Became President, Poll Finds

President Donald Trump's approval rating has improved every year since he took office in January 2017—although it remains historically low for post-World War II presidents—according to a Gallup report published Tuesday.

Titled "Trump Third Year Sets New Standard for Party Polarization," the report was written by senior editor Jeffrey Jones. It said the president's job approval rate during his third year in office was his highest to date, according to poll averages. The report was published the day following the third-year anniversary of the president's inauguration.

Trump's average approval rate among Americans was 42 percent in his third year, up from 40 percent in his second year and 38 percent in his first. Jones wrote that Trump's approval number was close to those of some other presidents in their third years but it was nevertheless historically low.

"Trump's third-year average is not far behind Obama's 44.5 [percent] or Reagan's 44.9 [percent] averages at the same point in their presidencies," according to Gallup. "However, it still ranks among the lowest year three averages for any president elected to their first term since World War II, surpassing only Jimmy Carter's 37.4 [percent]."

Gallup noted that most presidents have needed an approval rate of 50 percent or higher to win re-election. But the highest approval rating Trump has achieved in any poll was 46 percent.

The president could increase his likelihood of being elected for a second term by capitalizing on potential support from independents, according to Gallup. While all other presidents in office after World War II achieved an approval rate higher than 40 percent among independents at some point, the highest Trump has gotten is 38 percent.

"Because he is unlikely to increase his support among Democrats and cannot improve much more among Republicans, his odds of getting to the 50 [percent] mark and winning a second term hinge on his ability to persuade independents to support him," the report read. "That is something he has not had great success with thus far, as barely more than one-third of independents have approved of the job he is doing at any point in his presidency."

Further, Trump's approval numbers are sharply divided according to party affiliation. In the third year of his presidency, there was an 82 percentage point "gap" in his approval rates from Democrats and Republicans—89 percent of Republicans approved of his performance, but only 7 percent of Democrats said the same. This gap had widened between Trump's second and third years in office. In his second year, it was 79 percentage points.

Newsweek has contacted Trump's re-election campaign for comment but did not hear back before publication.

President Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a White House event to honor this year's NCAA football champions, the Louisiana State University Tigers, on January 17. Drew Angerer/Getty