Presidential approval ratings have been used for over 50 years to gauge public opinion on the current administration in the oval office. The Gallup Organization is the most well established polling source and has been polling presidential approval ratings since President Truman was in office. Their methodology is based of asking citizens the simple question “do you approve or disapprove of how the president has been handling his job?” Though the question being asked is straight forward, approval ratings themselves are actually incredibly complex in nature. The focus of my thesis is to explore a few of the numerous variables that impact presidential approval ratings, and understand which are the most statistically significant. The focus of my research is twofold; first is to evaluate the role the American economy has on approval ratings, and second is to analyze the impact that party polarization has. By looking at data dating from President Nixon in 1969 to President Trump in 2018 I will be able to analyze the shifts in approval during a fifty-year period. My hypothesis is that the American political system has become so polarized that it has neutralized the importance of approval ratings. Essentially I believe that there is such a strong divide in our country’s partisanship that approval ratings have developed a ceiling and a floor. Each president is going to maintain high approval from those within their own party and high disapproval from those in the opposing party regardless of the success or failure of their policies while in office. Building upon this concept I will look at the “gap” between same party approval and opposing party approval. Ultimately I believe that the polarization of our political parties has become so strong that approval ratings are becoming less and less indicative of how a president is handling their job while in office and therefore should not be emphasized as heavily important.