… All recent second-term presidents began their new terms with approval ratings above 50 percent (although barely so in the case of Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush). This ought not to be surprising: after all, each of these presidents had just been elected or re-elected, and it is hard to accomplish that unless at least half of the country approves of how you’ve done your job.
However, it used to be that presidents enjoyed a “honeymoon period” at the beginning of their second term, with a large number of Americans who had failed to vote for them nevertheless expressing their best wishes. [cont.]
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight (NYT)
See also: Obama job ratings