Americans overwhelmingly back leaving Afghanistan, disapprove of withdrawal handling: poll

A large majority of Americans say they support President BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan but disapprove of the way the White House handled the withdrawal from the country, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows. 

The new poll shows that 77 percent of respondents support the decision to withdraw all U.S. forces. The support goes across party lines, with 88 percent of Democratic respondents, 74 percent of Republican ones and 76 percent of independents polled supporting the withdrawal.

However, that support drops when it comes to how Biden handled the withdrawal. The poll showed 52 percent saying they support the exit of Afghanistan but disapprove of how Biden handled it, while just 26 percent said they support both the decision and how the president handled it. 

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When people were asked more generally whether they approve of Biden's overall management of the withdrawal, 60 percent said they disapprove, while only 30 percent said they approve. The support across party lines varied heavily, with 56 percent of Democrats polled saying they support Biden's handling of the exit, while only 7 percent of Republicans said the same. Only 26 percent of independents surveyed said they support Biden's oversight of the situation. 

Criticism for Biden also arose over 13 U.S. service members were killed in the Kabul suicide bombing. The poll shows 53 percent of respondents say Biden bears either a “great deal” or a “good amount” of the blame for the attack, but 43 percent say he doesn’t bear much or any blame. 

However, the answers again vary across party lines. About 70 percent of Democrats polled say Biden bears little to no responsibility for the attack, while nearly 90 percent of Republicans say he does. Fifty-two percent of independents say Biden is to blame. 

Biden has continuously defended his withdrawal from Afghanistan and said the 20-year war was no longer serving the interest of the U.S.

“We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan,” Biden said. “After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.”