STATESIDE STORIES: Biden’s Approval Rating Down after Afghanistan Exit

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by Mary Foran


Amid the violence and chaos of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden’s approval rating plummeted to just 43% according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

That is down 6 percentage points from a survey conducted in July and is the lowest rating since Biden has taken office. Mostly independents have lowered their approval of Biden—just 36% approve of the job he is doing, a 10 point drop.

Biden in a presidential campaign rally, 2019. Independents were a key swing group which Biden won but now a majority of them disapprove of his performance

The fact that a majority of independents now disapprove of Biden’s performance is bad news for Biden and the Democrats. They are a key swing group which Biden won in 2020, but now they think he is off track.

Overall, 41% of US adults strongly disapprove of Biden, including 82% of Republicans.

On Afghanistan, 61% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, including 71% of independents. A majority also disapprove of Biden’s foreign policy in general.

The war in Afghanistan was considered a failure by 71%, while 38% felt that the US should have withdrawn but left some troops. 37% think that a complete withdrawal was better and 10% think that no troops should have been withdrawn at all.

Evacuees transported in a U.S. Air Force C-17 from Hamid Karzai Airport 15 August 2021. Almost three-quarters of the respondents support Afghan refugees and visa-holders coming to the U.S.

Only 29% of respondents thought that the US had a duty to continue its involvement in the beleaguered nation while 61% felt that it was up to the Afghans to determine their own future without the involvement of the US.

Nearly three-quarters—73%–said that they supported Afghan refugees and visa-holders coming to the US.

There are still Americans trapped in Afghanistan and many Afghan allies who are resisting the Taliban, who have been holding executions.


Featured image (collage): Joe Biden/David Lienemann, PD. Taliban fighters/VOA, PD
Biden at a campaign rally May 2019/Micahel Stokes, CC BY2.0
Evacuees/US AirForce Mobility Command Public Affairs, PD