It appears that the Biden administration’s honeymoon period is over.
- This week, the President’s approval rating dipped below 50% for the first time since his inauguration.
- Meanwhile, the percentage of survey respondents who disapprove of Biden’s job performance has steadily increased and now sits at 44.5%.
- President Biden’s approval numbers are still positive — currently, 4.6 points higher than disapproval — but both figures are trending in the wrong direction.
- In late January, he enjoyed a roughly 20-point positive margin. Since mid-June, the gap between approval and disapproval rates has tightened dramatically.
The fallout from the Afghanistan withdrawal threatens to reduce Biden’s popularity even further, if not move into the negative. He’s taking intense criticism from media outlets and officials who, before the withdrawal, were his staunchest allies, refusing to report a negative word about the Democratic-nominee-turned-president.
Now that CNN, MSNBC, and the NY Times have all turned on President Biden, one can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the Biden administration.
Is it finally happening?
I’ve written articles on several occasions, casting serious doubt on President Biden’s ability to complete his first term in office. Those pieces encouraged readers to wager against the prospect of Joe finishing his four years, primarily due to his age and potential health concerns – namely, what I suspect is a form of cognitive decline.
Today, I can’t help but wonder if those issues might be exacerbated by mounting pressure related to the many crises this administration is juggling. Afghanistan, the economy/inflation, what’s happening at our southern border, and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic are all chipping away at Joe Biden’s façade — not being Donald Trump isn’t enough anymore.
- We will revisit the betting line covering whether the President finishes his full term and discuss the odds of him being impeached.
- Then there’s the political futures market that gives us the chance to bet the year the 78-year-old will exit office, regardless of how or why.
But first, let’s take another look at those approval ratings.
Joe Biden Approval Rating on September 1, 2021
O/U – Approval Rating
- Matchup Odds
- Over 47.5%-120
- Under 47.5%-120
As I said before, President Biden’s approval rating is declining fast. Only a few days ago, the line for this bet was set at 50% — now it’s down to 47.5%!
In the latest RCP polling average, 56.2% of respondents answered that the country is on the wrong track, versus only 36% who think we’re headed in the right direction.
The question now is whether FiveThirtyEight’s approval rating for Biden can fall another two points in 11 days. To gauge the speed of his descent, I checked to see how long ago his percentage was exactly two points higher than it is today.
As of August 19, the President’s most recent approval rating is 49.1%. It was last recorded at 51.1% on August 2 – so, 17 days or two-and-a-half weeks.
However, several new developments might expedite his decline.
In early August, American officials still thought the Afghan army would hold the country while US forces left. I suspect they also believed they could convince the President to stay longer to “secure a peaceful exit.”
Instead, the Taliban immediately ceased control, and the establishment media war hawks began attacking Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw on behalf of the national security state/military-industrial complex. That includes pundits on networks like CNN and MSNBC who, up to this point, have run cover for Biden and family anytime inconvenient stories and information emerged.
A year ago, can you imagine CNN opening a story this way?
President Joe Biden is struggling against an intensifying examination of his judgment, competence, and even his empathy over the chaotic US exit from Afghanistan. And each attempt the administration makes to quell a furor that’s tarnishing America’s image only provokes more questions about its failures of planning and execution.
Questioning Biden’s competence last winter would have CNN and their ilk labeling you a “Kremlin agent” — forget about any “examinations of his judgment.” The change in tone on liberal platforms is what I see as the most significant threat to the President’s longevity.
This clip is important because WH aide @KateBedingfield inadvertently admits why the lies Biden told — the Afghan forces were strong and would resist the Taliban — are so key.
They couldn’t do mass evacuations because that would have exposed the lie they were peddling: https://t.co/kQ2DrZ14PZ
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 20, 2021
I don’t want to focus too much on whether Joe Biden was right to follow through with Trump’s troop withdrawal deadline or how he should have evacuated American and Afghani citizens more effectively.
Perception is reality.
If I’m someone who gets all my news from Nicole Wallace, and she’s suddenly criticizing President Biden’s decision to close Bagram Air Base and lamenting the plight of young Afghani women under Taliban rule, those attacks are going to resonate and affect my opinion of Biden. Because I just spent the last two years hearing about how Biden is the great hero savior of America.
If she’s suddenly questioning his “judgement, competence and even his empathy,” he must have genuinely screwed up.
How many times was Joe Biden caught lying or giving contradictory answers to the same questions during the 2020 election cycle? The establishment media ignored such inconsistencies every time – not anymore!
The President had repeatedly pledged the withdrawal from the country’s longest war would be orderly, deliberate, and safe and that there were no circumstances that Afghanistan would suddenly fall to the Taliban.
But in the ABC News interview he changed tack, saying there was no way the US could have left without “chaos ensuing” and that such scenes were always baked into the decision to get all troops out this year.
Later in the same article, CNN’s White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, says about the President:
Biden’s defensiveness, imprecision and apparent changes of position hardly project confidence or competence during an extraordinarily sensitive crisis on hostile foreign soil. Anytime a commander in chief does not appear in control or is in denial of obvious developments is a moment that threatens to inflict political damage.
Realistically, most Americans support ending the war in Afghanistan.
If the troop withdrawal were treated similarly to the Tara Reade scandal or Hunter Biden’s laptop, President Biden’s decision to end the war would have skyrocketed his approval rating past 60%.
But the national security state didn’t want to end the lucrative “forever war” in Afghanistan, which funneled hundreds of billions of dollars to defense contractors over two decades.
For 20 years, the American people hear almost nothing about the situation in Afghanistan besides the odd fluff piece and an occasional promise that our mission was nearly complete and their government only a few months away from self-dependence.
I’m not arguing that those terrible things didn’t happen — just that the neocons, intelligence agents, and mouthpieces of the national security state pretending to weep for the Afghani people are full of it. They just don’t want the gravy train to dry up.
You know how I know they don’t care about humanitarian issues and are just trying to make Biden pay for cutting off the gravy train?
Because civilian casualties have been piling up for years. Significantly since Trump ramped up airstrikes, resulting in 2018 being the bloodiest year of the occupation for Afghani citizens. Nobody said a peep.
Unfortunately, for Joe Biden, you live by the sword; you die by the sword.
It was the media’s unrelenting propagandizing and censorship that secured his Democratic nomination (and subsequent election win), and now the machine has him in its sights.
The media campaign to attack President Biden’s credibility and paint the withdrawal from Afghanistan as a grave mistake is already working.
Check out this report from Politico:
Support for the American military withdrawal from Afghanistan dropped 20 percentage points from April to August as the Taliban takeover of the country accelerated, according to a Morning Consult/POLITICO poll.
The poll, conducted from Aug. 13-16 among a sample of 1,999 registered voters, indicated that just 25 percent of American voters think the withdrawal from Afghanistan is going well. Just 49 percent of voters continued to support the withdrawal, down from 69 percent in April.
A few paragraphs down, we have more polling results:
Support for withdrawal remained at a partisan divide in the poll, with 69 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of Republicans supporting it. Still, just 38 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans reported that the withdrawal is going well.
Of the voters surveyed, 38 percent said the US should still withdraw if the Taliban regains control of most of Afghanistan. Forty-five percent of voters said the US should probably or definitely not withdraw, a larger share than those who generally opposed the decision to withdraw.
The President’s recent statements regarding the necessity of booster shots will also negatively impact his approval ratings.
In the early months of his tenure, many US citizens felt confident in Biden’s pandemic leadership. They saw his White House as competent and steady compared to the disorganized and often chaotic Trump administration. It helped that the pandemic appeared to be ending, as cases and hospitalizations dropped before the delta variant spread.
Now, those perceptions have faded.
- According to a YouGov/ Economist poll, the President’s approval rating for his management of the pandemic has dropped below 50%.
- Since July, his “handling of the pandemic” approval rating tanked by 9% among all voters, 8% among Democrats, and 9% among independents.
I predict the decline will be exacerbated by Biden’s latest announcement that vaccinated Americans need to get a third round of covid vaccinations — or “boosters” — undermining previous claims regarding their efficacy.
I’m also seeing a growing number of people asking why there’s no attention given to assessing natural immunity via antibody tests. Why aren’t their exemptions for people with the requisite antibodies to fight the virus?
That the only response seems to be more and more shots plays into concerns that the “boosters” are more about “boosting” Pfizer’s bottom line than ending the pandemic.
All these inconsistencies and confusing decisions are rapidly eroding public trust in the government. As President, Joe Biden will undoubtedly take a hit.
The Economy / Inflation
As if President Biden didn’t have enough on his plate, there’s also the issue of economic inflation. The cost of goods rose 5.4% in July compared to the same month in 2020, while producer price inflation rose 7.8% over the same twelve-month period – the highest percentage recorded in the metric’s ten-year history.
Critics have blamed supply chain disruptions and government spending for the rising inflation. But that’s a debate for another day.
The average American voter isn’t going to research the many variables contributing to the cost of everything going up. All they’ll know is that Joe Biden came into office, gas was suddenly $4 per gallon, and they could barely afford food.
It doesn’t matter who’s actually to blame. The more people struggle to get by, the worst it will be for Joe Biden’s popularity.
Finally, there’s the crisis at the border. I won’t spend too much time on this topic. Still, it’s worth noting that according to a recent Washington Post /ABC News poll, only 33% of voters approve of how the Biden administration is handling the “immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
We are seeing confidence in the President plummeting across every political issue that matters to voters.
What’s the Bet?
Taking all of these variables and poll numbers into account, I’m taking the under.
I’m slightly concerned about the short timeline between now and September 1, but I sense tumultuous times ahead for the Joe Biden White House. He’s facing the perfect storm of powerful detractors and challenging circumstances.
The media is raking him over the coals for leaving Afghanistan, consumer prices keep increasing, people want their pre-pandemic lives back (and see no sign of that happening), and there’s a migrant crisis at the border.
Will Joe Biden Complete His Full First Term?
- Matchup Odds
Since the Democratic primaries, I’ve been saying that I don’t believe Joe Biden is healthy enough to endure a full four-year term in the White House. I’m still of the opinion that he’s suffering from some form of cognitive decline and that his public appearances and media interactions are carefully managed as a result.
Plus, you can see it in his eyes that he’s not the same Joe Biden from even five years ago. What interviews he gave in 2015, it’s like an entirely different person. He was always known for gaffes, but Senator Biden was downright elegant to the man occupying the Oval Office today. Whatever has happened to him happened relatively fast.
I’ve often suspected that Biden was a Trojan Horse meant to deliver Kamala Harris the presidency after her campaign failed so spectacularly in 2019. In that case, he’d be sure to resign from office before the end of the current term so that Kamala Harris could enter the 2024 election cycle as the incumbent.
However, VP Harris’s approval numbers are abysmal; I can’t imagine that’s still the plan. As the sitting Vice President, her favorability is a meager 41%, seven points lower than her 48% unfavourability rating. What’s worse: 1 in 5 Democrats surveyed found her unfavorable, along with almost 3 in 5 independents.
So much for passing the torch.
If Biden leaves office prematurely, it will be due to health reasons or because he was threatened with section four of the 25th amendment by cabinet members/party officials still beholden to the military-industrial complex.
I’m still leaning towards the former.
I think this Afghanistan stuff is going to expedite the process and we’ll see Joe Biden step down within the next two years.
Will Joe Biden Leave Office via Impeachment?
- Matchup Odds
While I don’t expect President Biden to complete his term, I seriously doubt he’ll be removed from office via impeachment.
- For one, he would resign before it reached a Senate trial.
- Two; the Republicans would need control of the House to impeach him and the Senate to remove Biden from office successfully.
The earliest the GOP could gain control of both chambers of Congress is 2023, after the midterms.
If Republicans win a majority in the House and Senate, I think Biden will retire before they can hassle him. Either way, he won’t fight to stay in office no matter what like Donald Trump. At the first sign of conflict, I predict the President calls it a day.
Joe Biden Exit Date
|Biden’s Exit Year||Odds|
|Not Before 2026||+325|
Based on all my previous predictions and arguments, I’ve narrowed my betting options for this field down to two selections:
- 2022 at +500
- 2023 at +700
Judging by his appearance, communication skills, and current political crises, I think President Biden leaves office one way or another within the next year and a half.
My guess is that he remains in power until the Democrats get shellacked in the 2022 midterms.
Facing nonstop Republican opposition and agitation, he’ll bow out gracefully and leave it to Kamala Harris to finish out their term.