Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Support for Trump Grows as Biden’s Approval Drops, WSJ Survey Finds

Published: December 13, 2023
Young supporters of former US President Donald Trump hold a "Trump 2024" sign at a 2024 election campaign rally in Waco, Texas, March 25, 2023. (Image: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

If a presidential election were held today, the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, would most likely walk away with the presidency, a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) poll has found. 

On a hypothetical ballot, with only two candidates — Trump and Biden — Trump would lead 47 percent to Biden’s 43 percent. However, add in the other five potential third-party candidates and Trump’s lead would rise further to six percent, indicating that Biden is bleeding support to third-party candidates, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is polling at the most popular of any third-party candidate with eight percent.  

The poll also found that support for Trump has grown at the expense of Biden’s approval rate.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said that Biden’s policies have hurt them, while only 23 percent of voters said the sitting president’s policies have helped them personally. 

In contrast, roughly half of all respondents said that Trump’s policies, while president, helped them and 37 percent said they were negatively affected. 

Only 37 percent of respondents currently approve of Biden’s job performance, with 61 percent seeing his overall image as unfavorable, “a record high,” the Journal reported.   

Meanwhile, Biden’s signature economic platform, “Bidenomics,” was viewed in a favorable light by less than 30 percent of all respondents and unfavorably by over 50 percent. 

Entrepreneur, Republican and New Hampshire resident, Aimee Kozlowski, told the Wall Street Journal, “Things were thriving under Trump. This country is a business and it needs to be run by a businessman.”


Some hope for Biden

Despite the gloomy outlook, Biden is not out of the race as Democrats can find a few opportunities to pick up support in the recent findings. 

On the perpetual issue of abortion, respondents see Biden as more capable of handling the issue than Trump by a wide margin, with 44 percent saying Biden is more capable, compared to Trump’s 33 percent. 

There is also a large pool of voters that Republican pollster, Tony Fabrizio, calls “disaffected Democrats,” who make up an estimated 24 percent of all Democratic voters, that remain up for grabs.

While seven percent of this cohort indicate that they may vote for Trump, 16 percent remain undecided and may cast a ballot for Biden in the election if Trump is viewed as untenable. 

The primary issue for these “disaffected Democrats” is the economy and the cost-of-living crisis. They have seen their purchasing power plummet in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to struggle after enduring historically high inflation. 

However, should current economic trends continue, Biden may be able to pick up considerable support. 

Currently, gross domestic product is surging, inflation is moderating and the unemployment rate has hit its lowest level since 1969, meaning, with roughly a year before the election, there is time for these trends to continue which may convince some voters to cast a ballot for Biden.


Democrats shed traditional support 

However, as some Democrats openly worry about Biden’s stamina and ability to lead, he is also struggling to capture young, black, and Latino voters who in the past have consistently voted Democrat.

Democrat pollster Bocian told the Journal ,“They are feeling economically stressed and challenged right now. And they are not showing enthusiasm in the way they were turning out in 2020, 2022.”

However this pessimism may be lifting as 26 percent of respondents said that inflation is moving in the right direction, up from just 20 percent in a previous poll. 

In addition, the WSJ poll found that more voters associate the word “corrupt” with Trump, rather than Biden, as Trump faces 91 charges in four criminal prosecutions.

An independent voter from Georgia, who voted for Biden in 2020, told the Journal, “Trump’s not qualified at all. I don’t know that Biden can go another four years, but I’ll cross my fingers and vote for him. He’s the lesser of two evils.” 

However, Trump is viewed as more capable in handling a number of pressing issues, including securing the southern border, taming inflation and building the economy.

“Voters say Trump is the better bet than Biden to secure the border (by 30 percentage points), tame inflation (by 21 points) and build the economy (by 17 points),” the WSJ reported.

Fabrizio said, “If this race is about policy and performance, then Donald Trump has a significant advantage,” but “if this race is about temperament and character, things like that, then Biden has an advantage.”

Watching Iowa

In what may be a hint of how the presidential race will unfold next year, with five weeks until the first Republican presidential nominating contest, Trump is now garnering 51 percent of first-choice support from Iowa voters, according to the latest NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll. 

This is the largest lead ever recorded with this poll in Iowa.

Timothy Blackerby, of Missouri Valley, Iowa, told NBC News, “With all the other candidates, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what they say, it doesn’t matter what they do. Because automatically, my vote is going to Trump no matter what,” adding that “they can promise me a million dollars. I tell them to keep it. And I would still vote for Trump.”

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, published on Dec. 11, Trump has maintained his commanding lead among Republican candidates.

A full 61 percent of Republicans say they would pick Trump for the presidential race, while only 11 percent say they will vote for Ron Desantis or Nikki Haley, and only five percent say they will be voting for Vivek Ramaswamy.