US President Joe Biden rated worse than the other three presidents who presided over Washington's longest war as per a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

US President Joe Biden speaks about the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 16, 2021.
US President Joe Biden speaks about the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 16, 2021. (AFP)

US President Joe Biden's approval rating dropped by 7 percentage points and hit its lowest level so far as the US-backed Afghan government collapsed over the weekend, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The national opinion poll, conducted on Monday, found that 46 percent of American adults approved of Biden's performance in office, the lowest recorded in weekly polls that started when Biden took office in January.

It is also down from the 53 percent who felt the same way in a similar Reuters/Ipsos poll that ran on Friday.

Biden's popularity dropped as the Taliban entered the capital, Kabul, wiping away two decades of US military presence that cost nearly $1 trillion to taxpayers. 

However, a majority of both Republican and Democratic voters said the chaos was a sign that the US should leave.

READ MORE: Western governments branded "morally bankrupt" for abandoning Afghan staff

Biden's handling of Afghanistan war

A separate Ipsos snap poll, also conducted on Monday, found that fewer than half of Americans liked the way Biden has steered the US military and diplomatic effort in Afghanistan this year. 

The president, who just last month praised Afghan forces for being "as well-equipped as any in the world," was rated worse than the other three presidents who presided over the United States' longest war.

READ MORE: US government failed to implement a ‘coherent strategy’ in Afghanistan

Contradictory views

Americans expressed a variety of opinions that may still be evolving as the Taliban completes its takeover of the country.

The Ipsos poll found that 75 percent of Americans supported the decision to send in additional troops to secure key facilities in Afghanistan until the withdrawal is complete, and about the same number supported the evacuation of Afghans who helped US forces in the country.

Yet Americans appeared to be largely unsettled on what to think of the war, with majorities expressing somewhat contradictory views about what the US military should have done.

For example, a majority of the 18-to-65-year-olds who took the Ipsos survey — 68 percent — agreed that the war “was going to end badly, no matter when the US left,” and 61 percent wanted the United States to complete its withdrawal of troops on schedule.

Yet a smaller majority — 51 percent — also agreed that “it would have been worth it for the United States to leave troops in Afghanistan another year,” and 50 percent wanted to send troops back into the country to fight the Taliban.

READ MORE: The US is trying to outsource Afghan refugee applications 

Approval of Biden's handling of Afghanistan is even lower than that of former President George W. Bush, who ordered the Afghanistan invasion. 

READ MORE: US freezes poor Afghanistan's assets after Taliban takeover

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 947 American adults, including 403 Democrats and 350 Republicans. The results have a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.

The Ipsos online snap poll gathered responses from 1,000 people, including 443 Democrats and 247 Republicans. It has a credibility interval of about 4 percentage points.

READ MORE: Five ways the Taliban claims to have changed in the last 20 years

Source: Reuters