Majority of Americans do not believe Biden is competent, most also opposed to his handling of Afghanistan fiasco
By Arsenio Toledo // Aug 24, 2021

Majority of Americans no longer believe that President Joe Biden is capable of governing the country. This is according to a poll conducted by mainstream media outlet CBS News.


The survey was conducted with the help of public opinion company YouGov. It interviewed 2,142 adult residents of the United States between Aug. 18 to 20.

It found that 51 percent of the respondents believe Biden is no longer competent as a president. Fifty-two percent believe he is no longer focused, and 53 percent said he is no longer effective at governing the nation.

CBS News believes much of this change in public perception regarding Biden has to do with the recent events surrounding Afghanistan. The U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies have recently withdrawn from the war-torn nation. At the same time, the Afghan government has completely collapsed allowing the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban to take over. (Related: Taliban going door-to-door hunting down anyone who worked for the US, its allies and the former Afghan government.)

Americans support Afghanistan withdrawal, but not Biden

The survey made it clear that a majority of people still believe the U.S. made the right call to withdraw from Afghanistan. Sixty-three percent approved of removing U.S. troops from the country. But only 47 percent approved of the way Biden handled the withdrawal.

This is a significant dip from a similar poll in July, which found that 60 percent of Americans approved of Biden's handling of the situation in Afghanistan.

The poll found that a vast majority of Americans believe the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan went badly. Thirty percent said it went somewhat badly, and 44 percent said it went very badly. Twenty-one percent said the withdrawal went somewhat well, and only five percent believe it went very well.

People object to the way the withdrawal was handled for a variety of reasons. The resurgence of the Taliban has made Americans fearful that the Islamic fundamentalist organization would engage in international terrorist actions. Sixty percent of respondents believed that with the Taliban in control, the threat of terrorism in the U.S. would increase. Thirty-six percent believed the threat of terrorism would not change, and only four percent believe the threat would decrease.

Others still are concerned about the fate of the thousands of U.S. civilians still in Afghanistan. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents believe Biden does not have a clear plan for evacuating U.S. civilians, compared to 33 percent who believe there is a coherent plan in place.

People are also concerned about Afghan citizens who have helped the U.S. and NATO in their fight against the Taliban, such as those who worked as translators or provided the U.S. with intelligence. They are concerned that these Afghans will face retaliation from the Taliban.

There is broad support among Democrats, Republicans and independents alike to help Afghan collaborators and their families enter the U.S. Eighty-one percent of all respondents – 90 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents – believe the U.S. should help Afghan translators.

People are also divided on who is responsible for the Taliban's takeover. Twenty-five percent of respondents believe former President Donald Trump bears a lot of the responsibility, while 36 percent of respondents believe Biden is primarily responsible. Most other respondents believe the failures of the Afghan government and army are primarily to blame.

Biden's approval rating plummets

Biden's overall approval rating has been dropping for several months. Now, only half of the population approves of his overall performance. Similar polls conducted in March and July showed he had an approval rating of 62 percent and 58 percent, respectively.

The decrease in his approval rating comes mostly from independents, a majority of whom gave him positive marks in the previous surveys. Now, more than half – 54 percent – disapprove of how he is handling both the withdrawal from Afghanistan and his overall performance as president.

Biden has an 11 percent approval rating among Republicans, and an 86 percent approval rating among Democrats.

A similar poll conducted by mainstream media outlet NBC shows similar results. Its own survey conducted at around the same time shows that Biden's approval rating has dropped to 49 percent.

With regards to the situation in Afghanistan, the poll found that only 25 percent of respondents approved of Biden's handling of the situation. Sixty percent disapproved of Biden's handling of the situation, and 15 percent were unsure.

Similar to the CBS poll, the NBC poll found that a majority remained opposed to continuing the war in Afghanistan. Sixty-one percent believed the war was not worth it, compared to 29 percent who want the war to continue.

Learn more about how many Americans disapprove of the Biden presidency at

Sources include:

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