Americans are withdrawing their approval of President Joe Biden amid the swift Taliban takeover and the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, according to The Washington Post-ABC News’ latest poll.
Biden is now 7 points under water in net approval rating, with a 51% majority disapproving of his job performance and just 44% approving. That is nearly a full flip from the 8-point positive approval rating in the June version of the poll (50% approve, 42% disapprove), according to the Post.
The handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal is a clear reason for the sinking of support. An overwhelming majority of Americans (60%) disapprove of Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, with just 30% approving.
It is not just about the fact Biden withdrew troops from Afghanistan en masse by Aug. 31 either, because 77% support that decision. It was specifically the way he withdrew, as a majority opinion on the withdrawal (52%) supported the withdrawal but disapprove of how he handled it. Just 26% supported the withdrawal and how he handled it.
The deaths of 13 U.S. service members from a reported ISIS-K suicide bombing in the final week of the withdrawal is deal-breaker for the majority of adults, as a 53% majority says “Biden bears either a ‘great deal’ or a ‘good amount’ of the blame for the attack, according to the Post.
The biggest drop in support is among independents, but Democrats, too, have slumped in their support of the president. A large majority of independents now disapprove of Biden’s job performance (57%), a 14-point rise from a minority of 43% in June. Even Democrats, while largely in the president’s corner, have shaved 8 points of his approval (94% in June to 86% now).
Republicans have remained roughly the same, squarely negative in their view of Biden (89% now and 88% in June).
The COVID-19 pandemic is another sore point among Americans. After holding 62% support on his administration’s handling of the pandemic in June, Biden now has just 52% support on his COVID-19 response.
“The swiftness by which Biden’s approval rating has gone from net positive to net negative is not unprecedented but puts him in a small group of presidents who have found their popularity plummeting in their first year in office,” according to the Post’s poll analysts. “Trump was net negative in Post-ABC polls within months of his inauguration in 2017, as was President Bill Clinton, whose administration got off to a stumbling start before he won reelection in 1996.
“But for most other recent presidents, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, net negative numbers came in their second, third or fourth years in office.”
This is not the only poll that has soured on the Biden presidency of late.
- A Rasmussen Reports poll Wednesday found 52% of likely voters say the president should resign over the handling of Afghanistan.
- A Politico-Morning Consult poll found 62% of Americans say the country has gotten off track under Biden.
- The USA Today-Suffolk University Poll late last month gave Biden just a overall 41% approval rating.
- And, in mid-August, almost 70% of respondents in a Trafalgar Group poll disapprove of his handling of Afghanistan, which was before the suicide bombing.
The impact will reach the RealClearPolitics polling average this month. Last month, Biden was just an average of 2.8 points under water in his overall favorability rating (49.2% unfavorable and 46.4% favorable).
Biden’s job approval average on RealClearPolitics before this weekend was4.1 points in the way of disapproval (49.3%) versus approval (45.2%).
The Washington Post and ABC News polled 1,006 adults Aug. 29-Sept. 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.