President Biden’s job approval rating fell to below 50 percent for the first time since taking office in RealClearPolitics polling averages.
Biden’s approval rating stood at 49.9 percent approve to 46.1 percent disapprove in the polling average as of Tuesday. A plurality of Americans still approve of Biden’s job performance; however, that approval has steadily declined since May.
The approval rating dropped below 50 percent amid the American withdrawal and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport showed crowds of Afghans attempting to board flights out of the country, with some clinging to the sides of military aircraft taking off the runway.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that at least 11,000 Americans are currently in Afghanistan waiting to be evacuated.
American support for a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan plummeted 20 percentage points from April, according to a Morning Consult-Politico survey conducted from August 13–16. The survey found that 49 percent of respondents backed a withdrawal with 37 percent opposed, down from 69 percent in favor and just 16 percent opposed in April.
The president acknowledged that the speed of the Taliban takeover of the country caught his administration by surprise, but defended his decision to withdraw in an address to the nation on Monday.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That’s why we’re still there, we were clear-eyed about the risks, we planned for every contingency.”