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Biden’s Approval Ratings Tanking amid Afghan Chaos

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President Biden’s honeymoon period is officially over. The chaotic retreat from Afghanistan, where the U.S. has now announced will end on August 31st as the Taliban had requested, has delivered some heavy blows to Biden’s standing with the American public with many polls last week showing how the President approval ratings have tanked after the Kabul debacle.

Some new polls released this week have confirmed the negative news for the Democratic president, with a poll conducted by USA Today/Suffolk University to 1,000 adults in all 50 states showing an astonishing decrease in the job approval of the President, with only 41% of those surveyed approving the president’s job until the moment.

According to the USA Today/Suffolk poll, only 26% of those surveyed say they approve Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan retreat, while a whopping 62% disapprove of the way the President has handled the crisis.

David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, said to USA Today that “Biden’s approval ratings have taken a turn for the worse due to his awful job performance rating on Afghanistan” and that his approval on issues like immigration and the economy are “also upside down” and that he is “barely at 50%” in the issue of the COVID pandemic which is “the only issue keeping him remotely in-game”.

Although the USA Today/ Suffolk poll is a bit of an outlier, it is not the only survey that is showing Biden in deep trouble.

U.S. soldiers have been guarding the Kabul International Airport, the only way in or out of the Taliban-controlled city. (Department of Defense)

Other polls also show Biden struggling after the Kabul evacuation

The Real Clear Politics poll aggregator shows that most Americans disapprove of Biden’s job performance, with 48.9% disapproving his performance and only 46.6% approving, a significant drop since last month when 52.3% approved of Biden while 43.7% disapproved. The FiveThirtyEight aggregator shows a slightly better outlook for the President, with 47.6% approving and 47% disapproving of the president’s job.

The sharp drop in Biden’s popularity is also evident in individual polls, with an August 18-20 CBS News/YouGov poll showing the American public evenly split between those who approve or disapprove of the president’s job. In contrast, a July 14-17th poll also conducted by CBS News showed a very different picture, with 58% of respondents approving Biden’s work as President, an 8 point drop in just a month.

Importantly, Biden’s disapproval ratings have cratered among Independents. In July 55% of Independents had a positive view of the President’s job, that number had fallen 9 points in August while 54% of them disapproved of Biden’s job performance.

Even polls where Biden is having a better position, the news is not encouraging for him. A Hill/Harris X poll conducted on August 23 showing Biden with only 49% of respondents having a positive view of Biden, a six-point fall since July, and with Biden having an overall net negative perception on his job in issues like Immigration and Foreign Affairs.

Polls are clearly showing that the American voter is growing sour on the work done by the Biden Administration, it is useful to compare the current state of affairs with previous presidents. According to the data provided by FiveThirtyEight, Biden is doing worst than Obama, both Bushes, and Jimmy Carter at the same time during their presidencies, with only Trump and Clinton, and Ford performing worst than Biden at the eight-month mark of their terms.

Democrats barely managed to win the Presidency and both Houses of Congress in November 2020, with Biden managing to snatch slim victories in a handful of key states and Democrats having the slightest of margins in the House and the Senate, majorities they will have to defend tooth and nails in the 2022 midterms. Currently, polls show that both Democrats and Republicans are virtually tied in the generical congressional ballot polls.

While it is highly likely that domestic (not foreign) affairs will be the dominant forces in the minds of the American voter next year, Democrats will have to work hard to restore the image of their president and hope there’s no other major crisis that could derail their midterm effort next year.

Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.

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