How Joe Biden's Approval Rating Changed Since Afghanistan Withdrawal Announcement

President Joe Biden's approval ratings have dropped by 2.6 percent since he first announced the timeline of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in April, hitting an all-time presidential low on August 16. His disapproval rating also was at an all time high on that date.

The president has been criticized for how he handled the drawdown, with the Taliban quickly seizing power in Kabul on Sunday, just hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

On April 14, when Joe Biden first said he was going to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, his approval rating was 52.5 percent, while 40.9 percent disapproved of him, according to data from FiveThirtyEight. The data is based on multiple polls, conducted by companies including YouGov, Fox News, Ipsos and Morning Consult.

The president's approval rating since then peaked on May 25, at 54.7 percent, the polling data shows.

By August 17, the president's approval rating had dropped to 49.9 percent, while disapproval was at 44 percent. As the Taliban quickly captured swathes of Afghanistan, Biden's approval has fallen steadily since August 10, when he had a 50.4 percent rating.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment on Biden's approval rating.

Biden has faced a backlash for his decision and many of his most vocal critics have been Republicans, including former president Donald Trump. However, Trump pushed for full Afghanistan withdrawal in June and even bragged about "starting the process."

The president, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top government officials have also come under intense pressure from the media over the collapse of the Afghan government.

Deflecting the Blame

But on Monday, Biden deflected the blame at the Afghan military for falling to the Taliban too easily.

"I'm now the fourth American president to preside over war in Afghanistan—two Democrats and two Republicans. I will not pass this responsibility onto a fifth president," Biden told reporters during an address at the White House. "I will not mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference."

The president said he didn't regret his decision.

"Our mission in Afghanistan was never meant to be nation-building," he said.

Thousands of people gathered at Kabul airport over the weekend, desperate to leave the country. Social media footage showed scenes of chaos and gunshots can be heard, with some people on Monday even hanging onto planes.

Since then, people have been cleared from the runway, a Western security official at the facility told Reuters on Tuesday as flights resumed.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden’s approval ratings have dropped by 2.6 percent since he first announced the timeline of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in April, hitting an all-time presidential low on August 16. Biden speaks during an event at the White House August 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images