Speed Reads

don't bet on a bump

Will Biden's State of the Union speech boost his approval ratings? History says probably not.

As President Biden prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, his approval rating sits at 44 percent, CBS News reports.

According to Gallup, Biden took office with an approval rating of 57 percent but dropped below 50 during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. His poll numbers continued to fall as the worst inflation in 40 years took a toll on Americans' wallets, bottoming out at 40 percent in early-to-mid January.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that, in his speech, Biden plans to address inflation, "talk about steps to lower consumer prices," and tout the strong labor market recovery he's overseen.

Unfortunately for Biden, if history is any indicator, none of that will do much to boost his approval rating.

When former President Donald Trump delivered his first SOTU on Jan. 30, 2018, his approval rating stood at 38 percent. It then briefly climbed to 40 before dropping to 37 by mid-February, Gallup polling shows.

Gallup recorded a small bump — from 48 to 50 percent — in President Barack Obama's approval rating in the days after his first State of the Union.

President George W. Bush's approval rating actually went down after his first address on Jan. 29, 2002, but to be fair, it couldn't have gotten much higher. With the 9/11 attacks still fresh in their minds, 84 percent of Americans said they approved of Bush's job performance before he gave the speech compared to 82 percent after.

President Bill Clinton saw his poll numbers jump from 54 to 58 percent after his first SOTU, but within a month he was back down to 53.