Recent weeks may have dealt irreparable damage to President Joe Biden’s public image. Amid his botched handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll reveals a sharp drop in approval among likely voters and a particularly steep decline among independents. As more details of the crisis emerge and inflation continues to threaten the economy, approval ratings for the president are likely to get even worse.
President Biden ran on a platform which above all promised a return to “normalcy” and a quick return to the Obama years after the effects of the Trump era were undone.
Biden and his people were meant to be the consummate experts who would make American politics boring again and ensure that nothing important happened.
Americans who were not already aware are now learning that Biden and his advisors are both boring and incompetent.
Afghanistan was the first major crisis faced by the administration and the situation has been a comprehensive failure for the White House as a whole.
Ending the occupation of Afghanistan was a decision which had widespread bipartisan approval and was meant to be an easy foreign policy victory for a White House that wanted to focus on domestic issues.
Instead, Afghanistan has gone from being largely forgotten by the public to being one of the most humiliating disasters the United States has ever participated in abroad.
Approval ratings plummet for Biden
Republicans have taken the opportunity to call for Biden to resign or be impeached. This is nothing unexpected but falling approval ratings among voters nationwide will be a more serious concern for the White House.
Kamala Harris, who is already known to be broadly unpopular with voters, is still in line to succeed Biden and Democrats who still hoped to see her do so rely on Biden remaining popular enough to prop her up.
If the Biden Administration continues on this dismal course there will likely be no chance at all for a Harris presidency after 2024.
Approval ratings in the first months of the Biden presidency hovered in the low 50s. The USA Today poll now has approval at 41% and disapproval at 55%.
In an intensely partisan and relatively evenly divided time politically in the United States, a drop from 51% to 41% over a short span of time is very drastic.
If there is any chance for Biden and Harris to recover their former approval ratings it will be a long and arduous process and any new and poorly handled crisis is likely to undo any progress they make.