“A full 39% of the country sees Biden as a ‘very weak’ leader.”
On the heels of President Biden’s disastrous handling of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan comes new polling showing almost four in ten Americans (39%) say Biden is a ‘very weak’ leader, and another 14% say he is a ‘somewhat weak’ leader. Just 17% of the country sees Biden as a ‘very strong’ leader and another 30% see him as a ‘somewhat strong’ leader.
Taken all together, Americans say 53% to 47% Biden is a weak leader. More troubling for the Biden administration is the fact that Independents appear to be souring on the President. Independents say 62% to 37% Biden is a ‘very weak’ or ‘somewhat weak’ leader.
The poll, conducted Aug. 29 through 31 by YouGov, also shows Biden’s approval has slipped eight points since mid-June and the share of Americans who disapprove of Biden’s handling of national security is up nine points over the same time period.
On the issue of Afghanistan, just one-third of Americans strongly or somewhat approve of Biden’s handling of the situation. A full 86% of Republicans disapprove of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan and so do 59% of Independents and 21% of Democrats.
“On the issue of Afghanistan, just one-third of Americans strongly or somewhat approve of Biden’s handling of the situation.”
White men without a college degree are one of the groups most critical of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, with 64% saying they disapprove, compared to just 26% who approve. White male college grads disapprove of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan 54% to 40%. White women without a college degree disapprove of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan 60% to 23%, and white women with a degree disapprove 53% to 37%.
National security is now a top priority for Americans, with almost two in three Americans (64%) and eight in ten Republicans (81%) saying national security is a very important issue. One month ago, 60% of Americans and 74% of Republicans said national security was very important, but now close to a quarter of Republicans (22%) say national security is their top issue, while just 10% said so a month ago.
“Almost two in three Americans (64%) and eight in ten Republicans (81%) say national security is a very important issue.”
Americans are increasingly concerned about the likelihood of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil with the Taliban back in control in Afghanistan. Sixty-three percent of Americans say a major terrorist attack on the U.S. in the next year is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ compared to just 22% who say an attack is ‘not very likely’ or ‘very unlikely’. The share of Americans who say a terrorist attack is likely is up seven points from 23% last week and up 11 points from 19% two weeks ago according to YouGov data.
“Sixty-three percent of Americans say a major terrorist attack on the U.S. in the next year is very or somewhat likely.”
What’s more, Americans say 58% to 14% that the resurgence of the Taliban is a threat to the United States. White women feel strongly that the Taliban resurgence is a threat to the U.S. Non-college white women believe 68% to 6% that the Taliban is a threat to the U.S., while college-educated white women believe so 61% to 14%. While a majority of white men also believe the Taliban is a threat to the U.S., the numbers are lower than for white women. College-educated white men say 59% to 15% the Taliban is a threat to the U.S., while non-college white men say so 60% to 15%.
“White women in particular feel strongly that the Taliban resurgence is a threat to the U.S.”
Hispanics believe 49% to 19% the Taliban is a threat to the U.S., and Blacks believe so 42% to 13%.
These numbers indicate national security issues and concerns about terrorism are going to be defining issues in the coming months and into the 2022 midterm elections. While Republican leaning groups are unsurprisingly more critical of Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal and of the Biden presidency, Independents and swing voters are growing increasingly critical of Biden and concerned for the safety of the U.S.