Andrew Kerr, DCNF
President Donald Trump’s approval rating is higher than former President Barack Obama’s at the same point in his administration, despite Trump being on the precipice of becoming the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
Trump’s job approval rating 151 weeks into his presidency is 45%, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. That puts Trump three points higher than the 42% approval rating Gallop found for Obama at the same point of his presidency.
Gallup’s poll recorded a similar job disapproval rating for both presidents 151 weeks into their administrations. Some 51% of voters said they disapprove of Trump’s performance in a Gallop poll conducted Dec. 2-15, compared with 50% of voters saying they disapproved of Obama’s performance in a Dec. 12-18, 2011 Gallop poll.
Trump’s approval rating has inched up 6 percentage points since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry against him in September. The House is expected to vote on Trump’s impeachment Wednesday evening.
Obama was facing a scandal of his own at the same point in his presidency. In early December 2011, Iranian forces captured a CIA stealth drone near the Iranian city of Kashmar. Iran publicly denied Obama’s request that the country return the drone.
“The American espionage drone is now Iran’s property, and our country will decide what steps to take regarding it,” said then-Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, according to the Washington Examiner. “Instead of apologizing to the Iranian nation, it is brazenly asking for the drone back.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the following April that it had extracted data from the captured drone and was in the process of reverse engineering its own version of the drone. By October 2016, Iranian media reported that it had built a drone similar to the captured CIA drone.
Israel Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar reported in 2018 that the Israeli Air Force shot down an Iranian drone that resembled the captured CIA drone, The Times Of Israel reported.