President Joe Biden's approval rating has hit an all-time low, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
Following a disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and another migrant surge at the southern border, the president's approval rating is now underwater. Only 43 percent of voters approve of Biden—a 14-point drop since his inauguration. And for the first time in his presidency, a majority, 53 percent, disapprove of his leadership.
Biden's plummeting poll numbers come as the president moves from pillar to post in an effort to restore his administration's message of "competence." Since his inauguration, Biden has faced a series of domestic crises, including a resurgence of COVID hospitalizations and deaths and a flood of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. But the withdrawal from Afghanistan proved to be the first great test of his administration, as hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and allies were hastily evacuated amid the Taliban's swift and violent takeover of the nation.
Thirteen U.S. service members were killed by a terrorist attack at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport during the pullout. More than 100,000 U.S. citizens and allies were flown out of Kabul over a two-week period in August. About 100 Americans remain trapped in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before Congress last week. And tens of thousands of Afghans who assisted the U.S. military were left behind.
The botched withdrawal was complicated by a national resurgence of COVID-19 cases that forced the Biden administration to return to a federal policy of masking as well as a vaccine mandate for federal and non-federal workers. The country has had an average of more than 1,000 COVID deaths every day since Biden took office—a quarter of a million deaths in total.
The rise in cases coincided with a spike in migration at the southern border, which prompted the Biden administration to make use of Title 42, a policy the Trump administration used to expel migrants who pose a risk of spreading communicable disease.
Of the previous four presidents, Biden now enjoys the lowest approval rating in the September of a president's first term, with the exception of former president Donald Trump.
Gallup's poll also found that voters are split on Vice President Kamala Harris: 49 percent approve and 49 percent disapprove of her leadership.
Biden's approval rating declined most among independent voters. Gallup conducted its poll from Sept. 1 to 17, surveying more than 1,000 adults nationwide via telephone.