Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the role of foreign policy in the campaign.
Public reaction to what’s happened in Afghanistan is negative but the public draws a distinction between the desire to leave Afghanistan - which most still have - and how it is handled, which 74% of Americans say has gone badly. pic.twitter.com/xPtNxc8hub— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) August 22, 2021
NBC poll shows significantly larger impact from COVID than Afghanistan. CBS shows both having impact.— David Lauter (@DavidLauter) August 22, 2021
For all the intense focus in Washington on the Taliban’s resurgence, the broader public seems more preoccupied with other issues, like the still-raging coronavirus pandemic. Ruben Gallego, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and is now a Democratic representative from Arizona, tweeted last weekend, “What I am feeling and thinking about the situation in Afghanistan, I can never fit on Twitter. But one thing that is definitely sticking out is that I haven’t gotten one constituent call about it and my district has a large veteran population.”
One former Biden campaign aide told me, “It’s tough to imagine that in the midterm elections or certainly in 2024 that the Afghanistan withdrawal will be front and center. These things often seem urgent, and the implications seem enormous in the moment. But at the end of the day, voters care about things that affect them and their families.”