Poll: Biden’s job ratings decline amid COVID-19 surge, Afghanistan withdrawal

(WHEC/NBC) — With the rise in Covid cases across the United States and bipartisan criticism over the chaos of America’s withdrawal in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden is seeing his job approval rating drop below 50% among adults for the first time in his presidency.

The NBC News poll was conducted from Aug.14 through Aug. 17 and consisted of 1,000 adult respondents.

According to a new NBC News poll, fewer Americans are in support of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus and the economy than they did last spring, as well as just a quarter of respondents who approve of his handling of Afghanistan.

The poll also found that Americans are becoming more and more pessimistic about the coronavirus since April. This could be due to the country being torn over whether a COVID-19 vaccine should be mandated as well as a country that is divided over which political party should take over Congress after the 2022 midterm elections.

According to the survey, 49% of adults approve of Biden’s overall job performance, while 48% do not. That is down from April’s NBC News poll when 53% of adults approved of Biden’s performance and 39% disapproved. This drop of approval is coming from independents, rural residents, and white respondents.


When looking at the coronavirus, 53% of Americans approve of the president’s handling. However, that is a 16% drop from April. Thirty-seven percent of respondents say the worst is behind us, while 42% say the worst is yet to come.

As for the economy, 47% approve of Biden’s handling of the economy (a 5-point decline from the spring) and 24% describe the current state of the economy as excellent or good. This is a substantial reversal from April’s poll when 61% of Americans said the worst was behind us and 19% said the worst was yet to come.


As for Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, 25% approve, while 60% disapprove. While most Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling, they are also against the 20-year-old war there. Sixty-one percent believe the war was not worth it, versus 29% who say it was.


According to the NBC News poll, overall, only 29% of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction, which is down 7 points from the last survey. Fifty-four percent of Americans say they are worried and pessimistic about the country’s future, versus 44% who are hopeful and optimistic.


  • 69% of Americans say they’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, while 13 say they won’t get it under any circumstance (the rest say they will get it as soon as possible, will wait, or will get it only if required)
  • 40% say Biden has accomplished either a great deal or a fair amount as president, while 58% disagree
  • 35% of Americans say that the Covid relief legislation that was passed in March is helping to improve the economy or will do so in the future, versus 38% who believe it won’t help or will hurt the economy; 27% have no opinion or are unsure.

For more information on the results of the poll, you can view it in its entirety below:

NBC News August Poll by News10NBC on Scribd