Joe Biden: Ferrari questions whether President is 'fit for office'
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US President Joe Biden sailed to victory last year on the votes of more than 81 million people, making him the most popular candidate in American history. He has since helped get his country vaccinated against coronavirus and delivered the Democrats’ progressive agenda. But his first term isn’t unblemished, as his approval rate has started nosediving in recent weeks.
According to political pollsters FiveThirtyEight, Mr Biden is in danger of losing his majority approval.
On August 15, his rate dipped below 50 percent for the first time, marking a downwards trajectory from which he has not recovered.
Now, he has bottomed out at 47.2 percent approval, with a slim majority of just 0.3 percent.
The 46.9 percent of people who disapprove of his conduct so far threatens to grow as several controversial acts could haunt the rest of his presidency.
The US presence in Afghanistan has bridged several US presidencies, often as a cornerstone of international policy.
Although promises for total troop extraction began with Donald Trump’s administration in 2020, President Biden presided over the endgame.
The final withdrawal has garnered significant criticism over the last month, with many US allies vulnerable to Taliban retribution left behind in the country.
Weapons, vehicles, facial recognition technology and other equipment have now fallen into Taliban hands.
Afghanistan threatens to leave Mr Biden in a popularity ditch, given the recent terror attacks.
ISIS affiliates in the country known as ISIS-K took advantage of the US presence amid political unrest and carried out two terror attacks.
The dual suicide bombings hit locations outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport – which western militaries were using to evacuate personnel and civilians – killing 13 American troops and 169 Afghans.
The crisis has not yet appeared in the polls and may see Mr Biden lose the slim majority of support he still has as the final troops prepare to leave by August 31.
Mr Biden’s approval rate hasn’t ventured above 51 percent since late July, meaning Afghanistan is just one piece in the ratings puzzle.
The primary catalyst – COVID-19 – is much closer to home and caved his ratings by more than 2.5 percent before the Taliban retook Kabul.
From July 26, FiveThirtyEight’s polling on the President’s pandemic policy plummeted as the Delta variant reared its head.
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A comfortable majority of 59.8 percent of Americans polled approved of Mr Biden’s handling on the date.
But by August 25, he had lost more than six percent of his support, with the value now sitting at 53.4 percent.
The Delta variant has ripped through the US as a “largely preventable tragedy”, according to Mr Biden, who warned it would “get worse before it gets better”.
Experts suggested Delta could kill tens of thousands more Americans in early August, and the President has so far failed to rein in states where the virus is spreading most aggressively.
Perhaps the most reliable measure of Presidential approval – the economy – is now at the mercy of Delta as well.
Mr Biden previously hailed an encouraging bounce-back in domestic economic performance, with vaccination coverage high and case numbers low.
In early August, however, he doused expectations and skipped a victory lap on jobs growth.
On August 6, he delivered remarks from the White House that the US must beat the variant to advance the economy.
He said: “My message today is not one of celebration.
“It is one to remind us that we have a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the Delta variant and to continue the advance of our economic recovery.”
Independent voters – who carried Mr Biden to victory last year – have peeled away from the President, some citing economic concerns as Americans remain uneasy about seeking work during the dangerous Delta wave.
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