This research examines evidence of deterministic patterns in first term presidential approval scores, Eisenhower through Clinton. Rather than relying on single-presidency trend lines, approval is evaluated along the dimensions of volatility, buoyancy, and polarization. Borrowing from both the cumulative decision and psychological response explanations for approval paths, posited is an agenda articulation approach, which reasons presidential approval reflects the president's ability to define an agenda by staking positions on salient issues early in the administration. The findings report deterministic patterns in approval volatility and buoyancy. Data are from a unique compilation of presidential approval scores drawn from seven polling organizations allowing for a two-week unit of analysis.