WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s approval rating has fallen to the lowest point in his young presidency, sliding below 50% for the first time a new NBC poll found, as COVID-19 cases rise and he battles fallout from a chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The poll, conducted from Aug. 14-17 and released Sunday, found 49% approve of Biden’s job performance while 48% disapprove. Other polls this week also found Biden’s approval rating slipping: CBS (50%), Ipsos (46%) and YouGov (44%).
An NBC poll in April found 53% of Americans approved of Biden’s job performance.
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While Biden has taken a hit over Afghanistan, his perceived handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – long one of his strongest marks – appears largely behind the dip. The poll found 53% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, a 16-point drop from April. It comes as the COVID-19 delta variant has spread rapidly, weeks after it appeared the pandemic was getting under control.
“The promise of April has led to the peril of August,” Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates told NBC News. “It is the domestic storm, Covid’s delta wave, that is causing more difficulties at this stage here at home and for President Biden.”
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Only 25% of respondents said they approved of Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was quickly taken over by the Taliban. Yet the majority of Americans still support getting out of the country. Sixty-one percent said the war was not worth it.
Biden’s grade for the economy has also fallen, sliding to 47% who approve of his handling of the economy, down from 52% in April.
Still, Biden’s overall approval rating remains higher than former President Donald Trump had at any point during his presidency.
The poll – a sample size of 1,000 respondents with a 3.1% margin of error – was led by Hart Research Associates and Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.