By Jack Davis August 17, 2021 at 2:22pm
President Joe Biden’s approval rating has tanked as Americans behold scenes of despair and defeat in Afghanistan.
A presidential tracking poll released by Rasmussen Reports on Tuesday found that 45 percent of respondents approved of the job Biden is doing.
That’s the lowest approval rating of Biden’s term, according to Rasmussen. The poll was conducted from Aug. 14 to Aug. 16 among 1,500 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.
Other polls found similar disaffection. On Friday, FiveThirtyEight reported that Biden’s approval rating had dipped to 50 percent for the first time — and that was before the collapse of Afghanistan was complete.
Since then, even more criticism has been directed at the president.
“The Biden Administration’s botched exit from Afghanistan including the frantic evacuation of Americans and vulnerable Afghans from Kabul is a shameful failure of American leadership,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Sunday statement.
“Everyone saw this coming except the President, who publicly and confidently dismissed these threats just a few weeks ago,” he said.
A Monday editorial from The Washington Post castigated Biden’s “blunders” and “blame-shifting” and characterized his withdrawal from Afghanistan as “incompetent.”
“Images of Afghans, terrified of Taliban rule, clinging to a departing U.S. military aircraft — some fell to their deaths — are indeed reminiscent of the last days in Saigon. Imagine how desperate a person must be to risk piggybacking on a moving airplane; such is the betrayal of the trust so many Afghans placed in the United States,” the Post wrote.
But there is more than just his defeat in Afghanistan dragging Biden’s approval rating down.
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Last month, when the fall of Kabul was only a cloud on the horizon, Gallup blamed Biden’s sagging numbers on the lingering coronavirus, high inflation and the president’s failure to deliver on his promise of bipartisanship.
When CNBC was casting about for explanations as to why Biden’s popularity was taking a nosedive, the pandemic came to the fore.
“I think it all comes down to COVID,” said Jay Campbell, a Democratic pollster.
“If the COVID situation had continued to improve the way it was improving in the first quarter, all of these numbers would look very different. And ultimately, someone has to be responsible for that. And right now it’s Joe Biden.”
“Surging COVID and rising inflation are creating a bleaker outlook throughout the next 12 months than we’ve measured since the 2008 recession,” said Micah Roberts, a Republican pollster.
“Forty-three percent say the economy will get worse in the next year, tied for the highest we have measured since June 2008.”
Ballotpedia’s Scott Rasmussen offered another reason why Americans are souring on Biden.
“Fifty percent of voters say that illegal immigration is a crisis,” Rasmussen said, according to WSET-TV. “This is a challenge for the Biden administration because they don’t want to see it as a crisis.”