- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2021

President Biden‘s approval rating is tumbling among registered voters in New Hampshire — a plurality of whom are not buying the Democrat’s attempts to blame former President Donald Trump for the situation in Afghanistan.

The poll from the Saint Anselm College Survey Center at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics found Mr. Biden‘s approval rating among more than 1,855 registered voters slipped to 44% approve and 55% disapprove — marking a net 8-point drop since February.

It showed that 44% of respondents said Mr. Biden deserves the lion’s share of the responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan when compared to his predecessors. Former President George W. Bush received 27%, followed by Mr. Trump with 13% and former President Barack Obama with 4%.

The survey was conducted Aug. 24-26 as the Biden administration scrambled to evacuate service members, diplomats and allies.

The bombing outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 service members and dozens of Afghan civilians occurred on Aug. 26.

The findings are sure to set off alarm bells for incumbent Democrats in the state — in particular Sen. Maggie Hassan — who could be running against the anti-Biden sentiment in the midterm elections. Reps. Chris Pappas and Ann McLane Kuster, both Democrats, will likely face this issue in their reelection campaigns too.

Midterm elections are typically tough on the sitting president’s party, and the House GOP appears to be well-positioned to flip control of the chamber.

“The 2022 cycle is shaping up as quite dynamic as political cross-currents on issues from inflation to COVID to government spending to energy to Afghanistan present serious challenges for incumbents to negotiate,” said Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. “Control of Congress is a stake, and the races here in New Hampshire may play as important a role in determining who wields the gavel in both chambers as any state.”

Mr.  Biden‘s approval-disapproval rating pales in comparison to the 64%-34% rating of Gov. Chris Sununu, the Republican who is being heavily recruited to run against Ms. Hassan.

Ms. Hassan’s approval is underwater at 44% approve and 48% disapprove.

Mr. Sununu holds a 49%-40% lead over Ms. Hassan in a hypothetical matchup in the 2022 midterms.

Things aren’t looking much better for Democrats on the House side. Mr. Pappas is even at 42% approve/42% disapprove, and Ms. Kuster is at 43% approve/42% disapprove.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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