President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency in an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, and it found that Americans increasingly believe the country is heading in the wrong direction with Biden overseeing an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan that has drawn sharp criticism.
Biden still has a majority of Americans behind him, with 54% of poll respondents approving of his performance, but it’s the lowest rating in any of the seven AP-NORC polls on Biden’s job approval during his presidency.
It’s a 9-point drop from Biden’s highest approval rating of 63% in a late April/early May poll.
Biden’s now underwater when it comes to approval on foreign policy, with 51% of poll respondents disapproving—but it’s not just the withdrawal from Afghanistan that has Americans losing faith with the president, if the poll’s to be believed.
Biden’s taken a massive hit on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 54% approving—a massive drop from the 66% pandemic approval he had in the July AP-NORC poll and nearly 20 points below the 73% rating he had in March, before the spread of the delta variant plunged large swathes of the U.S. back into crisis.
On the economy, Biden also gets the lowest marks of his presidency, with a 49% approval rating, down from 60% in March.
The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,729 Americans between Aug. 12-16.
What We Don’t Know
The poll is some of the first public opinion data on Biden since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, but it’s unclear how much of the polling was done before Aug. 15, when the Taliban took control of Kabul.
The AP-NORC finding is just the latest poll showing Biden’s approval rating sliding, which was already happening before the U.S. troop drawdown from Afghanistan led to the Taliban taking over the country in 11 days. The fall of Afghanistan has led to by far the most widespread criticism of Biden since he became president on Jan. 20, with media, pundits and political rivals questioning Biden’s judgment in the withdrawal, which left thousands of Americans and the U.S. military’s Afghan allies stranded in Kabul as the city fell under the rule of the Taliban. On the domestic front, Covid cases are skyrocketing as a result of the delta variant, and some states—like Florida—now have a record number of hospitalizations and deaths as a result. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and governors in several other states heavily impacted by the Covid surge have signed orders banning mask mandates in schools, leading to Biden getting criticism from some on the left who say he’s not standing up enough against Republican governors. On Wednesday, Biden responded by ordering the Department of Education to “assess all available tools” to ensure governors are “not standing in the way” of children’s safety in schools.
What To Watch For
On Friday, Biden vowed the U.S. would evacuate all of its citizens that want to leave Afghanistan. “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or that it will be without risk of loss, but as commander in chief, I can assure you that I will mobilize every resource necessary,” Biden said.