President Joe Biden is in real trouble amid the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
A new USA Today poll found that Biden’s overall job approval rating now stands at 41%, compared to 55% disapproval. Before last week, national polls calculated that Biden’s approval rating was over 50%.
The decline among independents is key to Biden’s waning support. Only 32% of independents say Biden is doing a good job. By contrast, 87% of Democrats still back the president. So they are hanging on at all costs?
Though half of the country approves of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, he’s hemorrhaging in other critical areas. Notably, only 26% approve of Biden’s handling of the Afghan withdrawal. Furthermore, just 39% say they are on board with Biden’s economy.
“Today, President Biden’s overall approval has taken a turn for the worse due to his awful job performance rating on Afghanistan,” says David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Political Research Center.
“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%.”
Not studied is Biden’s support among the media, which had planned to extend its honeymoon with the president beyond the summer months. Biden still has protectors like George Stephanopoulos, but overall, the press has slammed Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Even CNN and Chuck Todd have expressed disapproval.
Staunch Biden defenders cite the statistic that 53% of Americans back Biden’s decision to pull out troops. While they are technically correct, they miss the main point. It’s Biden’s handling and strategy that is of consequence, not the withdrawal in general, and the USA Today poll says that 62% of Americans disapprove of the handling and strategy.
So what do these numbers mean long-term?
If we compare Biden’s presidency to a boxing match, we’d say that he has been knocked down in two straight rounds and he’s losing his lead in the scorecards. Biden has two years to shift the country’s attention elsewhere before the 2024 presidential election.
Biden’s re-election plan originally included hiding, and touting peaceful tensions across the country whenever he had to make an appearance. Neither strategy is plausible at the moment. If he wants to win in 2024, Joe Biden must start winning instead of not losing, the strategy he rode to the White House in 2020.