Joe Biden entered the White House as a popular figure in American politics. Biden’s Day 1 approval rating of 53 percent was much higher than departing Donald Trump's approval rating of 38.7 percent. However, the honeymoon period seems to be over, and Biden’s approval rating has dropped to a new low.
Biden’s ratings have fallen over the last few months because of waning support for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Several Republicans have called for Biden to resign after 13 American military personnel died in Afghanistan. Why is Biden’s popularity going down, and will he resign?
Joe Biden's approval ratings by state
Biden’s approval rating has fallen to 38 percent, according to Quinnipiac’s latest national poll results released on Oct. 6, 2021. That’s down from 42 percent three weeks prior and from a peak of 50 percent in mid-Feb. 2021. Whereas the Quinnipiac poll shows Biden with an all-time low approval rating, FiveThirtyEight's analysis of different surveys indicates it stands at 44 percent.
While Biden remains extremely popular among Democrats—around 80 percent approve of his job performance—his approval rating among Republicans and independents, who make up the majority of the sample, has plummeted to 4 and 32 percent, respectively, according to Quinnipiac.
According to a Civiqs poll, the president's approval numbers in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas are 10 points or more below his disapproval ratings. The largest gap in Biden’s ratings—26 percent—is in Texas. Trump defeated Biden in Texas by 5 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. The next-largest gap is in Georgia, at 25 percent.
Why is Biden’s popularity going down?
Biden received low scores in the most recent Quinnipiac survey on two important issues: his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy. Respondents also criticized Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, with just 28 percent believing it was the right decision. Biden received negative scores across major policy areas as well, such as military, taxes, foreign policy, immigration, and Mexican border issues.
Respondents also appeared to doubt Biden, with only 49 percent believing he cares about average Americans. Furthermore, 56 percent have little confidence in the president's leadership abilities.
Will Joe Biden resign?
A handful of Republicans have called for Biden to resign or be impeached over a terrorist attack in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members. The tension between Republicans in Congress and Biden has risen after the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Instead of uniting as a nation to fight a determined enemy, Republicans have chosen to capitalize politically.
Do the people calling for Biden’s resignation think that a tragedy, whether domestic or foreign, is grounds for resignation? By that logic, George W. Bush should have resigned after the World Trade Center terrorist attack, and Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma City bombing.
What happens if Biden resigns?
Even though Biden has yet to resign (and likely won't), people are already thinking about what would happen if Biden left office. If the president resigns before the full term, the vice president takes over as president. So, if Biden resigns, Kamala Harris would become president and appoint a vice president to fill her former role.