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Biden faces defining political moment in presidency

Afghanistan will likely remain an issue when midterm elections are held in November

joe-biden-unga-twitter US President Joe Biden addressing the United Nations General Assembly | UN

US President Joe Biden is losing support among critical groups in his political base as some of his core campaign promises falter, raising concerns among Democrats that the voters who put him in office may feel less enthusiastic about returning to the polls in the 2022 midterm elections, latest poll numbers project. In just the past week, the push to change the nation's immigration laws and create a path to citizenship for young immigrants brought illegally to the country as children faced a serious setback on Capitol Hill.

Polls from Ipsos, Emerson College, YouGov, Rasmussen Reports/Pulse Opinion Research and ABC News/The Washington Post (compiled by Five Thirty-Eight) all show that Biden’s disapproval rate outpaces his approval rate—and this transition happened after Kabul fell to the Taliban. The Marist National Poll shows Biden’s approval dropping six points, with 61 per cent of adults polled disapproving of how he handled the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Biden's approval rating has fallen to a new low of 43 per cent, the lowest since he took office. 71 per cent of Americans say that the United States' role was a "failure". Those who disapproved of his foreign policy included 66 per cent of Democrats, a large majority, hinting at a major dissent among Biden's own party colleagues.

Bipartisan negotiations to overhaul policing collapsed and searing images of Haitian refugees being mistreated at the US-Mexico border undermined Biden's pledge of humane treatment for those seeking to enter the United States. Taken together, the developments threaten to disillusion African Americans, Latinos, young people and independents, all of whom played a vital role in building a coalition that gave Democrats control of Congress and the White House last year. That's creating a sense of urgency to broker some type of agreement between the party's progressive and moderate wings to move forward with a USD 3.5 trillion package that would fundamentally reshape the nation's social programs.

Failure to do so, party strategists warn, could devastate Democrats in the 2022 vote and raise questions about Biden's path to reelection if he decides to seek a second term.

Afghanistan will likely remain an issue when midterm elections are held in November, 2022—putting 435 seats in the House of Representatives of 34 seats in the Senate up for grabs. To say these elections are crucial for Democrats is an understatement—the loss of even a single Senate seat could end their ability to overcome tie-breakers with the Vice President’s vote (Democrats and Republicans have a 50/50 split of the Senate—but Harris can add her tie-breaking vote to swing things in favour of the Democrats).

-Inputs from agencies

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