It would be easy to attribute Biden’s decline to the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, but, as the data shows, Biden has been on a downward trend for some time. The truth is that he is losing ground on a number of key issues.
The coronavirus pandemic, for example, had been one of Biden’s best issues. He was trusted more than former President Donald Trump to handle it poll after poll in last year’s election. Trump probably would have won in 2020 if people had trusted him more.
Biden’s coronavirus approval rating had always been in the 1960s for the first six months of his presidency. It went down to age 50 in July and went down to age 50 in August.
Biden’s overall approval rating has declined at a similar rate to his coronavirus pandemic approval rating.
Biden has also seen his numbers on the economy drop. In August, Biden’s average approval rating for the economy was just 47%. That’s down from the 51% it averaged over the month of July.
The decline in Biden’s approval ratings on the coronavirus and the economy has been punctuated by how Americans view him handling the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
In July, before the troop withdrawal, Biden averaged a 58% approval rating when it came to withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
Biden’s average approval rating for Afghanistan is now only 34%. You rarely see anything close to a 24 point drop in a president’s handling of a problem in such a short time.
The fact that three big issues are going against Biden at the same time makes it difficult to understand what drives his overall approval rating down. It’s probably all three to some extent.
Indeed, the whole atmosphere of the country has plunged recently. Only 33% of the country say the country is heading in the right direction in an average of recent polls.
The current 33% looks a lot more like the readings we saw on this metric during the Trump administration.
The big question for the future is how American minds change from here. One problem for Biden is that even when the last US troops leave Afghanistan, it likely won’t change people’s perceptions of the coronavirus or the economy.
Still, the fact that Biden’s ratings have changed as much as in the past month may indicate that Biden’s once stable ratings are more likely to change as previously thought.