Harrowing images of the events unfolding in Afghanistan seems to be making an immediate political impact.
For almost two weeks now, President Joe Biden has faced a slew of bipartisan criticism connected to the way he handled the hasty evacuation efforts of U.S. citizens and troops from Afghanistan. American forces had been moving swiftly to rescue as many U.S. citizens and civilian allies as they can after the Taliban took over Kabul in just a matter of days. Many Republicans and several Democrats accuse the president of underestimating what the Taliban can do while overestimating the capabilities of the now-collapsed Afghan government and their military troops.
Approval Rating for Biden Continue to Drop
As the crisis continues in Kabul, Biden’s approval rating continued to tank. This is according to two newly-published public opinion surveys that rolled out Tuesday.
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) August 24, 2021
The president, per the new survey reports released by USA Today/Suffolk University, currently has a 41% approval rating and a 55% disapproval rating. The figures show a dramatic drop for a U.S. president who consistently had an approval rating that averaged between the low and mid-50s since coming into office last January. Democrat voters seem to be sticking with Biden as they gave him an 87% approval among party members. However, his approval rating among independents is just at 32%.
Similar results were found at an important battleground state.
Per the University of New Hampshire’s survey published on Tuesday, the president went from having 50% approval and 49% disapproval ratings last month, to now only having 44% approval-54% disapproval. It seems the issue regarding Afghanistan is one major factor for the drop, as was also seen in a Granite State poll, in which his approval-disapproval rating went from 48%-46% to 36%-60% in August.
Americans are not only troubled by the fiasco in the middle east. They are also worried about the rise in inflation and the new spike in COVID-19 cases brought about by the highly contagious Delta variant, per an NBC News poll published on Sunday. The said poll also revealed that Biden’s approval rating connected to the way he is handling the pandemic went from 69% in April to 53% in early August. When it comes to the economy, his approval-disapproval ratings went from 52%-43% in April to 47%-49%.
“President Biden’s overall approval has taken a turn for the worse due to his awful job performance rating on Afghanistan,” David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk Political Research Center noted. “His approval on immigration and the economy are also upside down. The only issue keeping him remotely in the game is his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, where he is barely at 50%,” he added.
A president’s popularity and political strength are usually measured by the approval rating. It also serves as a significant measure of the success a president’s party may also achieve as a midterm election nears.
Prior to recent events that took place, Democrats have already faced a lot of setbacks as the 2022 midterm elections draw near. There, they would have to defend their razor-thin majorities in both chambers of Congress.
On the other hand, the Republican Party has history on its side. Usually, the president’s part – which, in this case, are Democrats – will lose over 25 House seats in the midterm election, on average. Additionally, the congressional redistricting process, which only happens once every 10 years, is currently underway. Many expect this process to go in favor of the GOP because members of this party control more state legislatures and governor’s offices.