• December 5, 2021

Biden’s declining approval rating isn’t just about Afghanistan

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly survey summary.

In recent weeks, President Biden’s job approval rating has plummeted, while his disapproval rating has risen dramatically. amid worries surrounding the delta variant of the coronavirus, the associated economic consequences of the pandemic, and the ongoing withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

How much have things changed for Biden? A month ago, his approval rating stood at 52.7 percent and his disapproval rating stood at 42.7 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight presidential approval tracker, for a net approval rating of +10.0. percentage points. But as of Thursday, his approval rating stood at 47.1 percent and his disapproval rating at 47.0 percent, for a net approval rating of +0.1 points.

In an era of deep political polarization where we rarely see big changes in the public opinion of presidents, this counts as a pretty big change.

There appear to be two separate events driving this rapid decline. First, Biden’s approval rating fell 2.5 points from July 26 to August 5 as the delta variant emerged. This slide is also reflected in Biden’s general handling of COVID-19. His approval rating on that issue fell about 3 points, from about 60 percent to 57 percent, after hovering around 60 percent for much of his presidency. And continue dialing from there:

Then things fell apart in Afghanistan just weeks before the last remaining US troops were scheduled to leave the country. On August 15, the US-backed government completed its collapse and the Taliban fully returned to power after being ousted by US-led military forces in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Initially, Americans overwhelmingly supported Biden’s decision in April to withdraw the remaining US military forces from the country. Even now, there is more in favor of leaving than stayingBut most Americans believe that Biden has mishandled the withdrawal. Last weekend, a CBS News / YouGov Poll found that about 3 in 4 Americans felt that withdrawal was going “very” or “somewhat wrong,” while a USA Today / Suffolk University Survey published Tuesday found 62 percent disapprove of how the Biden administration has handled the recall.

It’s unclear whether circumstances in Afghanistan are fully responsible for the roughly 3-point decline in Biden’s approval rating since August 5, given the continued prevalence of the delta variant in the US. Also, as I wrote to Early August, part of Biden’s downfall. The approval could be related to growing economic concerns and resentment among some independent voters. That said, there is no question that at least some of the decline in Biden’s approval has been driven by what happened in Afghanistan. And it could fall further. A couple of suicide bombers killed at least 60 Afghans and 12 American soldiers outside the Kabul airport yesterday, an attack that ISIS-K claimed responsibility for and that it could further sour American public opinion about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal.

Why has Biden’s approval rating dropped? | FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast

As such, Biden’s approval rating may not pick up at the moment given how volatile the situation in Afghanistan is, but at the same time there is reason to believe that it will eventually. This is because polls taken in the middle of a high-profile event often show big swings of opinion that then fade over time. We’ve also seen some reversion to the mean of recent presidents’ approval ratings after their ratings fell. Early in his presidency, Donald Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey amid his administration’s ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and then disclosed classified information to Russian officials at a meeting at the White House the next day. In the wake of these events, Trump’s approval rating fell from about 42 percent on May 9 to 38 percent in early June. But his approval rating then rose again to around 40 percent later that month.

However, at this point, Biden’s approval rating could drop a bit more before reverting to any sort of mean. This is partly because The final withdrawal of US troops is scheduled for next week, And that could go wrong given the precarious situation in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the delta variant and the corresponding economic concerns are not necessarily disappearing soon. A poll from early August by Gallup found that only 23 percent of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in America, up from 36 percent in May. Meanwhile, Gallup also found that Americans once again see COVID-19 as the nation’s most important problem after concerns subsided in the spring and early summer. And as our presidential approval tracker of Biden’s response to the coronavirus shows, only 53 percent of Americans now approve of his handling of the pandemic. What happens next in Afghanistan will be important to Biden’s approval rating, but just as important is whether Biden is able to weather the other challenges he faces.

Other voting bites

  • Two new surveys of CBS News / YouGov and Associated Press / NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that about 6 in 10 respondents thought that students in person should be required to wear masks. CBS News / YouGov surveyed parents of school-age children and found that 58 percent thought masks should be necessary for students, while 36 percent said they should be optional (6 percent said they shouldn’t be afford). Meanwhile, the AP / NORC surveyed all adults and found that 58 percent strongly or somewhat favored the use of masks for children. Both polls found predictable partisan divisions on the issue, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats agreeing with the wearing of masks or favoring the use of masks, while only about 3 in 10 Republicans feel the same way.
  • Vaccinated Americans you may need a booster shot soon to combat COVID-19, and a Morning Consult Survey found that 77 percent of vaccinated adults said they would receive a booster if recommended, while 12 percent said they were unsure and 5 percent opposed. An additional 6 percent said they had already received a booster shot, which has been recommended for people with compromised immune systems or organ transplant recipients. The survey was made right at the moment the Biden administration announced that booster injections would be recommended.
  • Speaking of parents, they think it’s harder to be a parent now than it was 20 years ago, according to a new Ipsos survey. Overall, 69 percent of fathers felt this way, and more mothers (72 percent) than fathers (65 percent) agreed with that sentiment. This split may have something to do with the fact that 87 percent of women with children under the age of 18 said in the same survey that they were “responsible for the majority of childcare and decision-making in the workplace. home ”, compared to 69 percent of men. However, overall, 88 percent of parents agreed that parenting is more expensive now than it was 20 years ago.
  • More than eight months after the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, NBC news found that attitudes toward the attack have settled along somewhat typical party lines. According to the poll, 59 percent of Americans agreed that it was an attempt to reverse the election versus 38 percent who disagreed, and 89 percent of Democrats agreed compared to just the one. 32 percent of Republicans (56 percent of independents also agreed). Meanwhile, 46 percent of Americans agreed that the incident had been exaggerated to discredit Trump versus 50 percent who disagreed, and 82 percent of Republicans agreed compared to just 12 percent of Democrats (43 percent of independents also agreed).
  • After pleadings broke last week that “Jeopardy!” Executive producer Mike Richards had used sexist and degrading language, Richards quickly Low as the next host of the television game show. in a Morning Consult Survey Held after Richards retired, 17 percent of the show’s viewers said they wanted “Reading Rainbow” actor and TV host LeVar Burton to be the next permanent host, the majority of nominees. Old “Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings came in second with 14 percent, followed by actor and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik with 12 percent, and the remaining contenders all with 8 percent or less. Bialik was already online to host special editions of the show, but after Richards left, she took over the temporary housing tasks.

What Americans think about the end of the war in Afghanistan

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