Thursday, May 13, 2021

Fact Check

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Misleading headline claims Biden’s 100-day approval rating is the lowest in history. It isn’t

Must read

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If Your Time is short

  • This headline is inaccurate. Just over half the country approves of the job President Joe Biden is doing as of his 100th day in office. That’s low, relative to other presidents since World War II, but not the lowest.

  • President Donald Trump’s approval rating of about 42% at his 100-day mark was the lowest recorded in American history.

As President Joe Biden nears his 100th day in office, claims about what Americans think of the job he’s doing so far are gaining traction online.

A story on the website for Ken Blackwell, a conservative activist and Ohio’s former secretary of state, claimed in its headline that, “President Joe Biden’s 100-Day Approval Rating Is The Lowest In American History.”

While Biden’s approval rating is lower compared to several previous presidents, it isn’t the lowest in history — and the article went on to contradict its own headline.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The article repeats its false claim in the first paragraph: “As Joe Biden races toward hitting the 100-day mark of his presidency, it seems the Democrat has the lowest approval rating in the history of our nation at this point in his term.”

But then it contradicts itself in the rest of the story, citing and linking to another website called Disrn. The Disrn article reported that around 52% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing so far, the third-lowest for a president at the 100-day mark since Harry Truman.

President Gerald Ford came in second-worst with a rating of 48%, the story says. Ford’s 100th day followed his unpopular pardon of President Richard Nixon. The distinction of having the lowest approval rating in American history went to President Donald Trump at 42% by his 100th day in 2017.

The 52% figure cited in the story appears to have come from a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that Biden got higher marks for his COVID-19 pandemic response and lower marks for his handling of the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Several polls measuring Biden’s approval rating range from 50% to 58% — averaging out to about 54.4%, according to the website FiveThirtyEight.

On average, presidential approval ratings at the 100th day are about 66% for all administrations from Truman to Biden.

Our ruling

A headline said, “President Joe Biden’s 100-Day Approval Rating Is The Lowest In American History.”

That’s inaccurate. The lowest in American history at the 100-day mark was Trump’s.

We rate this False.

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Latest article

McAuliffe overstates school progress in Petersburg, Va. during his governorship

Former and perhaps future Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently said that student performance in Peterburg, one of Virginia’s most financially troubled cities, vastly improved when...

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