With Biden poll numbers falling, Democrats fear Afghan exit will impact next year’s election



The distressing images of Afghanistan appear to have an immediate political impact.

President Biden has faced a barrage of bipartisan criticism for more than a week and a half for his handling of the hastily organized evacuation efforts, where US forces are rushing to save as many Americans and allied civilians most. quickly possible after the ignition rapid takeover of the capital Kabul by the repressive forces of the Taliban. The president is accused by both Republicans and some Democrats of underestimating the Taliban and overestimating the strength of the now collapsed US-backed Afghan government and military.


Amid the crisis in Kabul, the president’s approval rating is plunging, according to two new opinion polls released on Tuesday.

Biden’s numbers stand at 41% approval and 55% disapproval in a new USA Today / Suffolk University national poll. This is a dramatic drop for a president whose approval rating, until a week and a half ago, had averaged between the low to mid-1950s since joining the White House. at the end of January. While Democrats stick with the president – 87% approve of him for the job he does – his approval among independents was only 32%.

It’s a similar story in a key state of the general election battlefield.

Biden’s numbers have gone from 50% approval to 49% disapproval last month to 44% to 54% now, according to a University of New Hampshire poll released Tuesday. One contributing factor appears to be Afghanistan – Biden’s 48% to 46% approval on foreign policy last month in the Granite State poll dropped to 36 to 60% in August.

It is not just Afghanistan that worries the Americans. Amid rising inflation and a spike in COVID cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, an NBC News poll released on Sunday indicated that the president’s approval rating to fight the coronavirus pandemic fell from 69% in April to 53% earlier this month. And Biden was 47% -49% on running the economy, down from 52% -43% in April.

“President Biden’s overall approval has deteriorated due to his poor performance rating at work in Afghanistan,” said Suffolk Political Research Center director David Paleologos. “His endorsement on immigration and the economy is also upside down. The only issue keeping him at bay in the game is his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, where he’s barely at 50%.”


The approval rating is the most closely watched indicator of a president’s popularity and political strength, and it’s a crucial barometer for a presidential party’s success before a midterm election.

Even before the recent wave of events, Democrats were already facing strong political headwinds heading into the mid-term of 2022, where they defend their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Republicans have history on their side – on average, the party that wins the White House in a presidential election – in this case the Democrats – loses more than 25 House seats in the midterm elections that have regular. And the once-a-decade congressional redistribution process, which is currently underway, is expected to favor the GOP, as Republicans control more state legislatures and governor’s offices.


Fox News spoke to four Democratic strategists and consultants who are campaign veterans about concerns the president is groping about leaving Afghanistan, as well as the recent increase in COVID cases and the inflation, will negatively affect their party’s chances halfway through next year. The four have asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

“Democrats, with everything going on and everything they need to navigate, they have to stop thinking about winning the 2022 election,” said one strategist, who has many progressive clients. “Instead, Democrats need to start thinking about the best kind of legislation they can pass to serve the American people.”

Another strategist conceded that “you never want to see approval ratings go down.”

But the campaign veteran noted that “there are a million life cycles between now and next year’s election. Things may not be going the way we hope at the moment, but There is a lot of time for things to change and things will change and that will be seen if this is a momentary hitch in terms of approval ratings. “

The strategist warned that “it’s a mad rush to guess the mid-points of 2022 in August 2021”.


Foreign policy – particularly the war in Iraq – was one of the main issues in the midterm elections of 2006. Growing opposition to the conflict contributed to the drop in approval ratings for the then president. , George W. Bush, and the blue wave that Democrats have been riding to reclaim majorities in both houses of Congress.

But conflicts abroad have not been the most pressing election issues over the past decade.

“Foreign policy tends to fade from people’s memories,” argued a third Democratic consultant. “It’s hard to imagine that this will be the main issue voters will think of when it comes to next year’s election.”

Republican House Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in an interview with Fox News last week, pointed to the current climate and argued that “you look at the whole issue of where the public is – crime, inflation, revival, the border – all these Democrats have to play defense. Republicans don’t have to play defense at all. “

But another Democratic consultant is not concerned.

“On the fundamentals, I am not worried, because President Biden and the Democratic Congress have taken measurable historic steps to repair four years of chaos, noise and disruption,” said the campaign veteran. “The same voters who chose us in 2020 will see the measurable impact Democrats have had on their lives.”


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