Biden and Trump are virtually tied in a hypothetical 2024 rematch in a new WSJ poll.
The poll showed poor approval for Biden and dissatisfaction with the state of the country.
The result indicates that voters' displeasure with America under Biden isn't sending them back to Trump.
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are virtually tied in a hypothetical 2024 rematch in a new Wall Street Journal poll that showed dismal approval ratings for Biden and wide dissatisfaction with the direction of the US.
The poll, the first under the Journal's new polling operation led by Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who worked for the Trump campaign in 2020, and Democratic pollster John Anzalone, who worked for Biden, surveyed 1,500 registered voters on their views of Biden and the state of the country from November 16 to 22.
It continued a trend of poor approval ratings for Biden. Overall, 41% of respondents approved of Biden's performance, with 19% strongly approving with 22% somewhat approving. Among all voters, 57% disapproved of Biden's performance, with 46% strongly disapproving and 10% somewhat disapproving.
Biden's low approval and voters' gloomy views about the state of the nation and issues like the economy and inflation spell trouble for Democrats heading into the 2022 midterms, as the party prepares to defend control of both chambers of Congress. Democrats have a narrow margin in the US House and none in the US Senate, which is split between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.
On the generic ballot poll, 44% of voters said they would definitely or probably vote for a Republican for Congress if the election were held that day while 41% said they would definitely or probably vote for a Democrat.
Voters said they trusted Republicans more than Democrats to revive the economy, quell inflation, and improve border security by double-digit margins.
In a bright spot for Biden's party, voters think Democrats are better equipped than Republicans to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, improve quality of education, and lower healthcare costs. The poll also indicated that Democrats can improve their standing, particularly among undecided voters, by passing the Build Back Better Act, the party's sweeping social spending and climate bill.
An overwhelming 63% of respondents, however, still believe the US is on the wrong track, with just 27% believing that the US is on the right track. And voters believe current issues like the state of the economy, inflation, crime, and political divisions in America will only continue to get worse, not better, by significant margins.
But while voters may be souring on Biden and the state of the country, their dissatisfaction isn't sending them back to Trump, the de facto leader of the GOP. In the hypothetical 2024 rematch between Biden and Trump, 46% of voters would back Biden and 45% would back Trump.
While polls of hypothetical election matches three years away offer little predictive value or insight, Trump lagging Biden by one point (within the poll's margin of error of 2.5 points) despite voters' negative views on Biden and his party speaks to his potential vulnerabilities in a 2024 rematch.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said Biden intends to run again in 2024. Since leaving office, Trump has teased a 2024 comeback run on numerous occasions but hasn't made a formal announcement.
The poll results reflect the election outcome in 2020, when Trump lost the presidential race but Republicans surpassed expectations and performed much better down the ballot. On November 3, the GOP held onto competitive US Senate seats in Maine and North Carolina, flipped a dozen US House seats on net, and won back over 80 state legislative seats on net.
And in 2021, Republicans flipped the top three statewide offices and control of the lower legislative chamber in the previously blue-trending swing state of Virginia, a major warning sign for Democrats in 2022.