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President Joe Biden’s approval rating rises to 42%, highest since May

Image of the south facade of the White House.

Polling averages at the end of August showed President Joe Biden (D) at 42% approval, the highest rating he’s received since May. Fifty-four percent of voters disapprove of his performance.

Biden last had a 42% approval rating on May 19, 2022. The lowest approval rating he’s received is 38%, last seen on July 27, 2022. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55%, last seen on May 26, 2021.

Congress was at 21% approval and 56% disapproval at the end of August. The highest approval rating Congress has received is 36%, last seen on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, last seen on January 26, 2022.

At the same time in 2018, President Donald Trump’s (R) approval was one percentage point higher at 43%, and congressional approval was three points lower at 19%.

Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.



President Joe Biden’s approval rating remains at 39%, according to recent polling averages

Recent approval polling averages show President Joe Biden (D) at 39% approval, the same rating he received at the end of June. Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of his performance.

Biden first received this rating on June 29. In July, approval for his presidency hit a new low of 38%, which he last received on July 27. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55%, last seen on May 26, 2021.

Congress was at 16% approval and 71% disapproval at the end of July. At this time in June, its approval rating was 18%. The highest approval rating Congress has received is 36%, last seen on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, last seen on January 26, 2022.

At the end of July 2018, President Donald Trump’s (R) approval was four percentage points higher than Biden’s at 43%, and congressional approval was two points lower at 16%.

Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.



Biden White House has 474 employees, according to annual report

Photo of the White House in Washington, D.C.

On July, 1, 2022, the White House released its annual report to Congress on personnel, which details White House staff members and their salaries. 

The Biden White House includes 474 staff members according to the report. Sixty-three staff members are detailees temporarily assigned to the White House from another agency or department. The other 411 staff members are employees.

In 2021, the Biden Administration reported that it had 560 staff members. Twenty-six staff members were detailees temporarily assigned to the White House from another agency or department. The other 536 staff members were employees.

The average salary in the Biden White House is $102,095.

The highest-paid staff member according to the 2022 report was Francis Collins, a detailee serving as acting science advisor to the president. Collins’ annual salary was $300,000. Twenty-seven staff members earned $180,000 or more.

Sixteen staff members received no salary. The majority of individuals receiving no salary (9) were policy advisors.

The largest share of employees (153) received salaries between $60,000 and $89,999, and the second largest (114) received $90,000 and $119,999.

See the chart below for the average salary of paid White House staff members in the Biden, Trump, and Obama administrations between 2013 and 2022. Salaries between 2013 and 2021 were inflation-adjusted to 2022 dollars.



President Joe Biden’s approval at 39%, the lowest of his presidency thus far

Recent polling averages show President Joe Biden’s (D) approval rating at 39% as of June 30, the lowest of his presidency thus far. Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of his performance.

Biden first received this rating earlier in the month on June 13. At the end of May, his approval rating was at 40%. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55%, last seen on May 26, 2021.

Direction of country polling is also at an all-time low during Biden’s presidency, with an average of 19% of respondents believing the country is heading in the right direction and 74% not. The highest direction of country approval rating during Biden’s presidency was 44%, last seen on March 31, 2021.

Congress was at 18% approval and 73% disapproval at the end of June. At this time in May, its approval rating was 21%. The highest approval rating Congress has received is 36%, last seen on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, last seen on Jan. 26, 2022.

At the end of June 2018 during the Trump administration, presidential approval was four percentage points higher at 43%, and direction of country approval was twenty points higher at 39%. Congressional approval was four points lower at 14%.

Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.

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President Joe Biden’s approval average at 41%, congressional approval average at 20%

Recent approval polling averages show President Joe Biden (D) one point up from his lowest-ever approval rating and the U.S. Congress receiving its highest approval since early January.

On March 1, Ballotpedia’s polling index showed Biden at 41% approval and 54% disapproval. At this time last month, his approval rating was also at 41%. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55%, last seen on May 26, 2021, and the lowest approval rating he has received is 40%, last seen on February 18, 2022.

Congress was at 20% approval and 67% disapproval. At this time last month, its approval rating was 17%. The highest approval rating Congress has received is 36%, last seen on July 16, 2021, and the lowest approval rating it has received is 14%, last seen on Jan. 26, 2022.

Ballotpedia’s polling index takes the average of polls conducted over the last thirty days to calculate presidential and congressional approval ratings. We average the results and show all polling results side-by-side because we believe that paints a clearer picture of public opinion than any individual poll can provide. The data is updated daily as new polling results are published.



Biden announces Shalanda Young as nominee for director of Office of Management and Budget

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President Joe Biden (D) announced Shalanda Young as his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Nov. 24, 2021. Young was previously confirmed as deputy director of the OMB on March 2 and has been serving as the agency’s acting director. 

Earlier this year, Biden nominated Neera Tanden as OMB Director. Tanden withdrew her nomination on March 2 before the Senate voted on her confirmation. The position was last held by Russell Vought, who served from 2020-2021 during the Trump Administration.

So far, the Senate has confirmed 22 of Biden’s Cabinet members. After Tanden’s withdrawal, OMB Director has been the last remaining unfilled position. Young’s path to confirmation will include hearings before the Senate Committees on Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, followed by a confirmation vote by the full Senate.

Before Young’s confirmation as deputy director of the OMB, she had worked for the House Appropriations Committee since 2007. In 2016, she became the Democratic deputy staff director of the committee. She became Democratic staff director in 2017.

The Office of Management and Budget is a United States executive agency formed in 1970 to, according to its mission statement, “serve the President of the United States in implementing his vision across the Executive Branch.” Its chief responsibilities are managing the development and execution of the annual federal budget, overseeing federal agencies and executive branch operations, and coordinating and reviewing agency regulations.

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45 years ago, Alaska voters approved measure removing residency requirement for presidential elections

Forty-five years ago—on August 23, 1966—Alaska voters approved a measure permitting the state legislature to shorten the residency requirement for persons living in Alaska who wished to vote only for President and Vice President of the United States. It was the first measure the state legislature referred to the ballot since Alaska received statehood in January 1959. Voters approved the amendment 75% to 25%.

According to a 1963 Senate Judiciary Committee report on proposed constitutional amendments, 35 states required residents to live in their current state for one year before becoming eligible to vote. These laws prevented people from voting—even for President—when they moved between states. The Senate even drafted a constitutional amendment to eliminate such requirements nationwide.

Here is a quote from the 1963 Senate Judiciary Committee report summarizing the issue:

“The victims of these outmoded residence requirements include many citizens who are best equipped to exercise the right of voting, such as educators, clergymen, and professional people. Interstate businesses constantly shift managers, salesmen, and other executives. The American Heritage Foundation estimates that 8 million adult American citizens were barred from the ballot box in the 1960 elections by inability to meet State, county, or precinct residence requirements. Apart from the possible effects upon election results, this produces apathy and bitterness in such people toward governments which cheat them of their democratic birthright merely because they move their residence.”

The Alaska measure removed the one-year voter residency requirement that was in the state Constitution. The following year—in 1967—the Alaska legislature eliminated those residency requirements in state law. 

In 1970, Congress amended the Voting Rights Act and abolished state residency requirements nationwide as a precondition for voting for President and established uniform standards for absentee voting in presidential elections.

Additional reading:

https://ballotpedia.org/Voting_Rights_Act

https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_Alaska_ballot_measures



President Biden announces fifth slate of federal judicial nominees

President Joe Biden (D) announced his intent to nominate his fifth slate of judicial nominees on June 30, which included six individuals to Article III judgeships with lifetime terms:

• Toby Heytens, to the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit

• Jennifer Sung, to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

• Jane Beckering, to the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan

• Patricia Tolliver Giles, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

• Shalina Kumar, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

• Michael Nachmanoff, to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

To date, Biden has nominated 30 individuals to federal judgeships. Seven of the nominees have been confirmed. There were 82 Article III vacancies in the federal judiciary as of July 1.

As of his inauguration in January 2021, Biden inherited 46 Article III vacancies: two vacancies in the U.S. courts of appeal, 43 vacancies in the U.S. district courts, and one vacancy on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Biden announced his first federal judicial nominees on March 30.

Biden’s announcement on June 30 also included two nominees to Article I courts:

• Armando Bonilla, to the United States Court of Federal Claims

• Carolyn Lerner, to the United States Court of Federal Claims

Article I courts are federal courts organized under Article I of the United States Constitution. They are created by Congress and have differing levels of independence from the executive and legislative branches. Examples of Article I courts include the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Military Commission Review, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts.

Biden also announced his intent to nominate one individual to the local D.C. superior court:

• Sean Staples, to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., has two local courts: the superior court—a trial court of general jurisdiction—and a court of appeals. Justices on these courts are nominated by the U.S. president after recommendation from the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission; they then face confirmation by the U.S. Senate. D.C. judges are appointed to 15-year renewable terms.

Additional reading:

Judicial selection in Washington, D.C.

Judicial vacancies in federal courts

Judicial vacancies during the Biden administration



Comparing 2020 presidential and senatorial vote share by party

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

Ballotpedia compared the performance of Joe Biden (D) and Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 presidential election to Democratic and Republican Senate candidates in each state.

Thirty-five U.S. Senate elections were held in the general election. Biden outperformed Chris Janicek (D) in Nebraska, Sara Gideon (D) in Maine, and the cumulative vote total for Democratic Senate candidates in Louisiana by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 27.0%, 22.5%, and 15.8%, respectively.

Biden underperformed Steve Bullock (D) in Montana, Doug Jones (D) in Alabama, and Mike Espy (D) in Mississippi by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 10.7%, 8.0%, and 7.0%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Biden and Democratic Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Biden overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Biden underperformed. 

Trump outperformed Allen Water (R) in Rhode Island, Bryant Messer (R) in New Hampshire, and Lauren Witzke (R) in Delaware, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 19.2%, 11.4%, and 7.5%, respectively.

Trump underperformed Susan Collins (R) in Maine, Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota, and Ben Sasse (R) in Nebraska, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 14.6%, 5.7%, and 4.7%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Trump and Republican Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Trump overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Trump underperformed.

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Senate Commerce Committee advances Lander nomination for OSTP director

On May 20, 2021, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation favorably reported by voice vote the nomination of Eric Lander for director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Lander advances to the Senate for a confirmation vote.

President Joe Biden (D) elevated the office of the OSTP director to his Cabinet, marking the first time this position was made Cabinet-level. 

Lander, a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. He is the final announced Biden Cabinet nominee awaiting confirmation. 

One other Cabinet position—director of the Office of Management and Budget—currently remains unfilled. Neera Tanden, Biden’s original nominee for the position, withdrew from consideration on Mar. 2 following bipartisan opposition to her nomination. Biden has not yet named a replacement nominee.

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