A new poll by The Wall Street Journal found that Democrats and President Joe Biden are losing popularity on many topics voters care most about.
The Journal reported, “[t]he new survey showed that 57% of voters remained unhappy with Mr. Biden’s job performance, despite favorable marks for the president’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a recent State of the Union speech.”
Only 42% said they approved of Biden’s performance as president, which was fairly similar to the Journal’s poll from late last year, which showed around 41% of voters approving of his job performance.
Democrats showed a slight dip in approval on some key points. “A 16-percentage-point Democratic edge on which party would best handle the pandemic was down to 11 points, while a 9-percentage-point lead on education issues was down to 5 points,” the Journal noted.
The question of which party could best safeguard middle-class families, the parties were essentially tied even. The Democrats had a 5-point lead on that question four months ago.
Respondents also provided Democrats with low scores for how they are dealing with inflation and the economy, “which 50% cited as the top issue they want the federal government to address,” per the outlet. The conflict in Ukraine was reportedly the second leading issue, with 25% of voters noting it was the most important.
Additionally, 63% of voters said they didn’t approve of Biden’s handling of increasing prices. “Meanwhile, 47% of voters said Republicans were better able to handle inflation, compared with 30% who preferred Democrats,” the Journal noted.
The Journal added that “[m]ore voters said that Republicans had a better plan to improve the economy, 45% to 37%.”
For pollsters and Democrats, the question now becomes whether voters’ feelings about the current state of the country — and President Biden’s strategy on key issues — will impact where they cast their vote in the 2022 midterm elections this fall.
The Journal added:
46% of voters said they would back a Republican candidate for Congress if the election were today, compared with 41% who favored a Democrat, with Republicans gaining support among Black and Hispanic voters since the last Journal poll.
Republicans saw a 5-point advantage in the recent data, contrasted with a 3-point advantage in November.
Black voters reportedly favored a Democrat for Congress by 35 points in the new poll, plummeting from 56 points in November. “Support for a Republican candidate rose to 27% among Black voters, up from 12% in November,” the Journal added.
Ukraine also appears to be an important topic on the minds of many Americans, and a place where Biden has gained some favor.
Around 50% of voters said they approved of how Biden has dealt with Russia, contrasted with 44% who said they didn’t approve. “Asked a separate question on their view of how Mr. Biden has handled the crisis in Ukraine, 47% of voters said they approved and 46% disapproved,” the Journal added.
A broad majority of respondents said they were closely watching the situation in Ukraine — at 89%. And 55% said they were in favor of giving more military assistance to Ukraine, like equipment and weapons. The same amount said they would back putting additional economic sanctions on Russia.
However, notably, China was also on the minds of respondents. The Journal reported, “73% of voters said China was the nation’s largest economic threat and 52% said it presented the biggest security threat.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was also thought of favorably by 65% of voters, whereas only 8% saw him in an unfavorable light.
The Journal explained the polling data:
The Wall Street Journal poll was conducted by the firms Impact Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, who surveyed 1,500 respondents, drawn from a list of known, registered voters, from March 2-7. Half the respondents were interviewed on their cellphones. One-quarter were reached by text on their cellphones and completed an internet survey. One-quarter of respondents were interviewed by landline phone. The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
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