New Data: Voters Upset with Afghanistan Strategy and Outcomes, ‘Botched’ by both Trump and Biden


September 30, 2021
CONTACT: Sarah Tinsley, Director
John Bolton SuperPAC
[email protected]

Washington D.C. – New data released from the third national survey conducted by John Bolton Super PAC of likely voters revealed only 33% of voters favored withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan. 50% of the Democrats supported withdrawing all troops compared to only 31% of Independents and 17% of Republicans.

Trump and Biden both supported withdrawing from Afghanistan. Withdrawing hurt Biden with Independents where his Favorables dropped 13 points and his Unfavorables rose 17 points, a net drop of 30 points. Supporting withdrawal hurt Trump with conservatives, where in the Republican primary Trump’s vote among Very Conservative voters dropped 23.5 points.

Statement by Ambassador John Bolton:

“Voters rejected the Trump-Biden Afghanistan withdrawal strategy proving that everyday Americans have a better sense of our security needs than the current and previous occupants of the Oval Office. Overwhelming numbers see this as a major failure that makes America less safe and emboldens terrorists and adversaries to challenge the United States.”

New data released from the September poll:

1. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “President Trump and President Biden both made major mistakes in Afghanistan – to move forward we need new leaders and fresh faces.”

Agree 50.5
Disagree 39.6
Refused/DK 9.9

2. Question: In your opinion, does the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan make the United States safer from terrorism, less safe from terrorism, or does it make no difference?

Safer 5.8
Less Safe 51.8
No Difference 37.0
Refused/DK 5.4

Note: 77% of conservative voters said withdrawal made us less safe.

3. Question: President Trump and President Biden both negotiated with Taliban – they told Taliban: ‘We will withdraw our troops if, in exchange, you do not assist terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.’ In your opinion, did President Trump, President Biden, or both, make the mistake of trusting Taliban to keep its promises?

Trump made mistake 14.5
Biden made mistake 31.6
Both 39.5
Refused/DK 14.4

Note: In total, 71% said Biden made a mistake. 54% said Trump made a mistake.

4. Question – True or Untrue: The Taliban is a terrorist group.

True 88.3
Untrue 5.1
Don’t know 6.6

5. Question: The Taliban is a terrorist organization and former President Trump should not have negotiated with terrorists.

True 55.5
Untrue 30.4
DK/Refused 14.1

6. Question: After 9/11 Taliban protected Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Knowing this, do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “Withdrawing from Afghanistan wasn’t a good idea that was botched – it was a bad idea because now Taliban will once again provide terrorist groups – like Al Qaeda – with safe havens and a base of operations.”

True 56.2
Untrue 25.9
DK/Refused 18.0

Note: Liberal voters disagree but both moderate and conservative voters agree. Conservative voters agree most – 69%. Republicans agree (72%), Independents agree (60%), Democrats agree but more narrowly (A-41, D-34, DK-24).

7. Question: True/Untrue: “Taliban supports terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.”

True 80.8
Untrue 5.6
DK/Refused 13.6

Note: Liberals agree 71%, moderates agree 79%, conservatives agree 89%. Republicans agree 91%, Democrats agree 74%, Independents agree 79%.

8. Question: Looking back, do you think the U. S. should have: 1) Withdrawn all its troops from Afghanistan; 2) Withdrawn some but left troops in the country; 3) Not withdrawn any; 4) Not withdrawn and sent more troops.

Withdrawn all 33.1
Left some troops 42.2
Not withdrawn any 9.8
Sent more troops 5.0
DK/Refused 9.9

Note: In all, only 33% of voters favor withdrawing all troops. 50% of the Democrats said withdraw all troops compared to only 31% of Independents and 17% of Republicans.

9. Question: President Trump made a mistake in negotiating only with the Taliban and agreeing to the Taliban’s demand of excluding the government of Afghanistan.

Agree 50.6
Disagree 30.3
DK/Refused 19.1

10. Question: Our failure in Afghanistan will encourage jihadist groups across the globe, encouraging them that they can succeed, thus making them more likely to attack the United States.

Agree 60.8
Disagree 29.1
DK/Refused 10.1

These findings are based on a national survey conducted September 16-18, 2021, on behalf of John Bolton Super PAC of 1,000 likely voters. Political veteran Carter Wrenn analyzed the results. The survey of general election voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

Through his PAC, SuperPAC and Foundation, Ambassador John Bolton defends America by raising the importance of national security in public discourse and supporting candidates who believe in strong national security policies. Ambassador Bolton has worked hard to restore conservative leadership, which must reverse the recent policies of drift, decline and defeat. America must rise to the occasion and acknowledge the indispensable role we play in the world. Through 2020, Ambassador Bolton’s endorsed over 200 candidates and raised nearly $20 million for his organizations.


Ambassador John Bolton, a diplomat and a lawyer, has spent many years in public service. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2005-2006. He was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001 to 2005. In the Reagan Administration, he was an Assistant Attorney General.