(USA Features) There are several reasons why President Joe Biden’s approval ratings continue to sink just eight months into his first term, according to an analysis published Saturday.
“These numbers are a major cause for concern among Democrats nearly a year out from midterm elections in which they will defend razor-thin congressional majorities,” writes W. James Antle III for the Washington Examiner, citing the most recent polling numbers on Biden from RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight.
Specifically, he noted that both of those poll aggregate sites have Biden’s approval rating “stuck” in the mid-40s range following negative reaction to five key issues that are pulling down his numbers.
First, Antle writes, Biden’s “messy” evacuation from Afghanistan has dramatically impacted his poll numbers in recent days.
“Ending the 20-year-old war in Afghanistan was a popular campaign promise backed by both Biden and former President Donald Trump, in addition to bipartisan majorities of voters — including military veterans — in most public polls,” he wrote.
“But the execution of the withdrawal received extremely poor marks and undercut Biden’s image as a competent leader,” he added.
Thirteen American military personnel were killed in a suicide bombing near the airport in Kabul last week ahead of a chaotic pullout the following Monday. Reports say that perhaps “hundreds” of Americans and Afghan allies are still trapped inside Afghanistan.
But even before the Afghanistan debacle, Antle noted that Biden’s approval rating was heading south, thanks to several other issues that he has not been perceived as handling well by a growing segment of voters, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
“His relative popularity had been driven by perceptions that he was doing a good job managing the pandemic, presiding over large-scale vaccinations and the reopening of much of the economy after more than a year of mitigation measures restricting businesses,” he wrote.
“But the emergence of the delta variant and pockets of vaccine resistance have threatened to upend much of this progress as cases and hospitalizations have once again soared,” he added.
Antle also pointed out that the ongoing border crisis, in which nearly 1 million migrants have crossed illegally into the U.S. since Biden took office, is also dragging down his approval.
“Biden’s handling of the southern border has been a problem the entire time he has been in office, after he reversed a number of Trump-era immigration policies. The migrant surge in the middle of a pandemic, frequently including large numbers of minors, has continued unabated,” he wrote.
“In some polls, Biden’s job approval ratings on immigration and border security are stuck in the 30s,” he added, noting that the issue is also hurting Vice President Kamala Harris because Biden put her in charge of solving the crisis.
Antle said that the faltering U.S. economy and rising inflation is taking its toll on Biden’s presidency as well.
“Last year, voters who prioritized economic reopening chose Trump. But inflation and inconsistent jobs numbers have bedeviled this administration, despite — or possibly because of — his attempts to pour trillions of dollars of new federal spending into the economy,” he wrote.
Rising crime in major cities around the country also hurts.
“Another issue that turned the Democrats’ 1960s Great Society dreams into 1970s national malaise was out-of-control violent crime in major cities,” wrote Antle.
“That has also come roaring back as major urban areas grapple with a spike in homicides, threatening to make law-and-order a campaign wedge issue for the first time in decades.”