Joe Biden's Approval Rating Worse Than Trump's at This Stage of Presidency

U.S. President Joe Biden's approval rating is lower than Donald Trump's was at the same stage of his presidency, as the Democrats are bracing for potential major losses in this year's midterm elections.

Biden's approval rating was 39 percent as of June 30, according to analysis by poll tracker FiveThirtyEight, while 56.2 percent of Americans disapproved of the way the president is handling his job.

Trump's approval rating on July 1, 2018, was 41.8 percent, while 52.3 percent of Americans disapproved of him, figures from FiveThirtyEight show.

In 2018, Republicans suffered a major defeat in the midterm elections and lost 40 seats in the House of Representatives, handing control to the Democrats and allowing Nancy Pelosi to return as speaker.

The midterms that year took place on November 6. By that point, Trump's approval rating was 41.9 percent, compared to disapproval level of 52.8 percent.

However, the president's approval rating is only one factor in the midterms and though it plays a role in voters' choices, other issues are likely to influence the outcome of the 2022 elections, including high inflation, the state of the economy and the recent landmark Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

The prospects for Democrats look bleak in FiveThirtyEight's generic congressional ballot, which shows Republicans enjoying 44.8 percent support to the Democrats' 42.7 percent - a narrow, but potentially crucial lead of 2.1 percent.

Republicans are likely to focus on issues such as the cost of living crisis in their midterm campaigns and take aim at Biden's handling of the economy. The president's unpopularity could give Republican candidates a boost in close races.

The president's party generally suffers losses in the midterm elections, with an average loss of 23 seats in midterms since 1974. The biggest single loss was under then President Barack Obama in 2010, when the Democrats lost 63 seats in the House.

One strategy Biden has adopted ahead of the midterms is referring to pro-Trump Republicans as "ultra MAGA." Though this phrase was reportedly arrived at following polling and consultation, it has been embraced by Trump and widely panned as bad messaging.

It remains to be seen if the Supreme Court's abortion rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey will have a major impact on the midterms, but the push to protect abortion rights could drive turnout among Democratic voters.

Possible Charges Against Trump

The ongoing live hearings of the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, could also play a role as new information about attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election continues to be revealed.

There is speculation that the Department of Justice could bring charges against former President Trump - a move that would likely upend both parties' midterm strategies.

If Republicans can retake either chamber of Congress, they would effectively be able to stymie Biden's agenda for the two years leading up to the next presidential election, while Trump has repeatedly teased he will run again in 2024.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump
In this combination image, President Joe Biden attends a royal gala dinner, hosted by King Felipe VI of Spain, on June 28, 2022, in Madrid, and Donald Trump arrives to give remarks during a Save America Rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds on June 25, 2022, in Mendon, Illinois. Biden's approval rating is now lower than Trump's was at the same stage of his presidency. Getty