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Biden’s High Approval Ratings Punctured in the Wake of Afghanistan Evacuation

9 in 10 AZ Voters say U.S. Should Help its Citizens and Afghan Aides Evacuate – Divided on Where They Should Go


PHOENIX (September 23, 2021)- Biden’s job approval has taken a hit nationwide in the wake of the Afghanistan evacuation. After enjoying a honeymoon period of high approval since his inauguration, President 46 began to slip underwater just as August came to a close, and thus far in September, this reversal of approval is trending negatively for the Biden administration.

538 biden approval sept 2021

Furthermore, Joe Biden’s favorability in the Grand Canyon State now mirrors that of Donald Trump. After nearly a full year of polarized favorabilities, the latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) conducted by OH Predictive Insights shows that Biden is now as popular (or unpopular) as Trump in Arizona. These drastic drops in job approval and favorability for President Biden could be partially explained by voters’ opinions and perceptions of the way he is handling recent issues – particularly the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after almost 20 years in the country.

sept 2021 azpop prez net fav

This AZPOP was conducted from September 7 – September 12, 2021 and surveyed 882 registered voters in Arizona with a margin of error of ± 3.3%.

By a 2:1 margin, Arizona voters do not agree with the way Joe Biden withdrew from Afghanistan. Thirty-one percent approve of the way the President handled the situation in Afghanistan while 62% disapprove. The survey found that net approval was lowest among Republicans (-82%), voters aged 55+ (-41%), Independents (-38%), and females (-35%). Approval was highest among Democrats (+34%), voters aged 18-34 (-6%), and Pima County residents (-14%).

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Among those 62% of voters who disapprove of how President Biden handled the situation in Afghanistan, 72% of them thought that the US could have left in a more orderly manner, and another 20% of them think the US was wrong to leave the country in the first place. The 31% of voters who approve of the way Joe Biden handled the situation are narrowly divided in their opinions on the way in which the US withdrew from Afghanistan. Forty-four percent of those who approve of Biden’s withdrawal still think the US could have left in a better manner, while 49% think we left in as good a manner as possible.

Though voters did not like the manner in which the US withdrew, they overwhelmingly felt we were right to leave Afghanistan (78%). Democrats (34%) and liberals (30%) were the groups most likely to believe we left in as good a manner as possible, whereas ‘very’ conservative voters were the most likely to believe we were wrong to leave in the first place (28%).

“Even though Arizona voters vastly agree that pulling US troops from Afghanistan was the right move, most are unhappy with the way President Biden went about it, and their disappointment is being reflected in Biden’s plummeting ratings,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “However, we’ve seen time heal bigger wounds, and the President still has the majority of his term to make it up to the electorate.”

While there is seemingly no question in Arizona voters’ minds that we should help our citizens and allies – more than 9 in 10 think the US should help its citizens and Afghan aides evacuate the country – they are less aligned on what should be done with the Afghan allies who helped the US during our 20 years in Afghanistan who are still in the country even though the US military has left. Overall, 3 in 5 voters (61%) want our Afghan aides to be brought back to the US, along with Pima County residents (75%), Democrats (71%), voters who approved of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan (70%), frequent (at least weekly) CNN viewers (67%), and women (65%). Thirty-four percent of voters want our Afghan aides to be brought somewhere other than the US, along with Republicans (43%), frequent (at least weekly) Newsmax (44%) and FOX News (41%) viewers, parents of minor children (39%), and men (39%).

where to bring afghans - 092221.png

Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to welcome Afghan refugees to Arizona is broadly supported by voters (63% support/26% oppose). This survey found that 87% of voters who think the US should help and bring our Afghan allies back to the US also support bringing these Afghan citizens back to the Grand Canyon State. However, there is opposition to bringing Afghan aides back to Arizona from a majority of voters who say we should help our Afghan allies but not bring them to the US (57%).

sept 2021 azpop afghan allies support

“It is nothing less than heartwarming to see an overarching desire from Arizona voters to help Afghan aides and their families evacuate the country along with US troops. Though there is some disagreement on where our allies should be brought, the data shows that most Arizonans are on board with Governor Ducey's decision to welcome them to the Grand Canyon State,” said Noble.

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Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights from September 7 to September 12, 2021, from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect the registered voter population by gender, region, age, ethnicity, and education according to a recent voter file derived from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and recent Census data. The sample size was 882 registered voters in Arizona, with a MoE of ± 3.3%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.


Media Contact:

Veronica Sutliff, Noble Predictive Insights, v.sutliff@npredictive.com, (602) 390-5248


About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to elevate the world around us by empowering decision-makers with digestible data and actionable insights that translate to data-based solutions. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 326-5694 or visit our website at www.noblepredictiveinsights.com.

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