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Biden in Deep Trouble. Is 2022 Lost?

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Floyd Ciruli

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President Joe Biden’s approval rating has sunk to a 48 percent average on Monday, August 23, eight days after Taliban fighters strolled into the presidential palace.

The startling and unpredicted speed of collapse of the Afghan army and government has taken Biden’s political support down to its core and possibly doomed the 2022 election for House and Senate. And, the damage may not be over as both the chaotic withdrawal and the Taliban consolidation of power are likely to produce more bad news.

A positive presidential approval, managing COVID and some congressional accomplishments were considered the assets Democrats had to go into the midterm elections. At the moment, all three are in danger. The Delta variant surge was already damaging Biden’s support levels as people lost their optimism that the pandemic was mostly over and mask and vaccine wars were behind use. And, the Afghanistan debacle took place as just the moment Democrats were gaining momentum to pass infrastructure after their Senate victories.

Predictions for Democrats holding their slim (4 votes) House majority were already weak. It now depends on the recovery from COVID getting on track and Democrats realizing now more than ever that they need to compromise and pass infrastructure – possible, but as of today, not a betting proposition.

Timeline of Fall of Kabul
Taliban at palace
Taliban fighters take control of the Afghan presidential palace after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2021 | Zabi Karimi/AP