President Joe Biden's approval rating has cratered in the wake of his heavily criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan and disorganized evacuation of American citizens and Afghan allies from the Taliban-controlled capital, Kabul.
A new USA Today/Suffolk University poll found that Biden's job approval has dropped to 41%, with 55% of survey respondents saying they disapprove of the president's performance. It is a significant drop for Biden, who until last week has generally enjoyed an approval rating above 50% in national polls.
Biden is still strongly backed by Democrats, with 87% of the party faithful voicing support for the president. But only 32% of independents said they approve of how the president is handling the job.
The poll was conducted last Thursday through Monday, as the crisis in Afghanistan dominated media headlines. The survey also found that 50% approve of Biden's handling of the pandemic, 39% approve of his handling of the economy, and just 26% approve of his handling of Afghanistan.
"Today, President Biden's overall approval has taken a turn for the worse due to his awful job performance rating on Afghanistan," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Political Research Center, said. "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%."
Most Americans support the president's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which followed former President Donald Trump's attempt to reach an agreement for withdrawal with the Taliban.
But survey respondents criticized Biden for letting the Taliban seize U.S. military equipment and weapons and for shifting blame for the Taliban's speedy take over of the country onto the failure of U.S.-trained Afghan security forces.
The trouble for Biden isn't just brewing at home. The United States' international partners have openly criticized the president's handling of withdrawal. German politician Armin Laschet, widely seen as the apparent successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the situation "the greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation."
The U.K. parliament voted to hold Biden in contempt in what the BBC described as "an unprecedented rebuke to a U.S. president."
European leaders at the virtual G7 summit urged Biden to extend the August 31 deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from the country to give international troops more time to evacuate their country's citizens and Afghan allies, but the president ignored their requests.