Professor John Owens, Emeritus Professor of United States and Government Politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, was quoted in an article by Newsweek about poll numbers and approval ratings in US politics.

Close up image of John Owens

In the article, he said: “It’s important to recall that hyper-partisanised polarisation characterises contemporary US politics and government – which means that voters for the party out of power intensely oppose the president. Partisanship heavily constrains a president’s approval ratings in today’s context…Only if Biden’s popularity drops below 50% - say, if the economy tanks – will we know whether Trump will increase his ratings. I suspect neither will happen.”

He added: “The interplay between Americans’ views of a president’s performance on specific issues and their views of the same president’s overall performance is complex, inconsistent and heavily influenced by partisanship. Voters might largely approve of Biden’s handling of COVID, but the virus isn’t the only issue that matters to them – and partisanship trumps most other factors.”

Read the full article on the Newsweek website.

Press and media enquiries

Contact us on:

[email protected]