A new Wall Street Journal poll revealed that the economy is at the forefront of voters’ minds going into the 2024 presidential election.
Not only did a plurality of the registered voters surveyed say that the economy would be at the top of their mind when considering whom to cast their ballot for next year, but nearly 60 percent said that their personal financial situation has worsened over the course of the past year.
Substantial percentages of respondents also said they felt inflation, the cost of housing, and the availability of goods and products had all worsened since this time last year.
The majority of registered voters who answered the poll also said that they believe President Joe Biden is “too old” to run again and is not “mentally up for the job of President.”
When asked what would be the most important issue they would consider when deciding who to support for president next November, a most respondents, one in four, said the economy.
Immigration was the second most frequently identified issue, coming in at 11 percent. This is nearly double the six percent of respondents who flagged the issue in April of this year, a sign that ongoing migrant crises at the border and in major cities is bearing on voters.
Noted by six percent of respondents, abortion was the third most commonly identified issue in last month’s poll. In April, 11 percent of respondents said that this would be the most important issue for them in 2024.
One of the most dramatic changes between the August and April polls is the substantial decline in the apparent importance respondents expect to place on gun-related issues in 2024.
Earlier this year, nine percent of respondents flagged gun-related topics compared to just two percent last month — representing a more-than-four-times smaller share of respondents. The issue also dropped in the ranking from being the third most frequently cited subject to the fifteenth, alongside topics like foreign policy and government spending.
When asked about the strength of the U.S. economy, 36 percent of respondents said they felt it was “excellent” or “good,” compared to 63 percent of respondents who said it was either “not so good” or “poor.”
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that they felt the state of the economy has worsened over the past two years.
The poll also asked voters to indicate whether they believed a number of issues have moved in the right or wrong direction over the course of the past year.
The majority of respondents said that inflation (74 percent), the cost of housing (86 percent), and the availability of products and goods (53 percent) have worsened since last year.
More than half of respondents also said that their personal financial situation has worsened over the past year. These findings mirror those of a recent University of New Hampshire (UNH) poll of Mainers.
That poll found that 57 percent of respondents felt they were worse off financially compared to this time last year. On a similar note, the poll also found that roughly two out of every five Mainers are struggling “a lot” to afford basic necessities.
The August Wall Street Journal poll also revealed that just 42 percent of respondents approve of the job that Joe Biden has done so far as president, compared to 57 percent who disapprove.
For comparison, the poll also found that 48 percent of respondents disapproved of the job performance of former President Donald Trump and 50 percent approved.
The poll also asked respondents to rate how well they believed a variety of phrases applied to President Biden.
Six in ten of voters said that the phrase “mentally up for the job as president” did not apply well to Biden, and 73 percent agreed with the statement that he is “too old to run for President.”
Interestingly, however — particularly given the other sentiments revealed by this poll — that 51 percent of respondents believe Biden has “a strong record of accomplishments as president” and that 52 percent believe he “has a vision for the future.”
This poll was conducted from August 24 through August 30 and surveyed 1,500 registered voters nationwide.
Click here to read the full results of the poll.