WSJ poll shows Biden and Democrats not trusted on crime

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Joe Biden and his more establishment Democratic colleagues in Congress are hoping that the American electorate will forget all about the left’s desire to defund the police and “reimagine public safety” by suddenly adopting tough-on-crime rhetoric and touting their plans to fight crime by imposing new restrictions on legal gun owners, but based on the numbers in the Wall Street Journal’s latest poll, that strategy isn’t working well at all.

As the WSJ reports, both Biden and congressional Democrats find themselves underwater on a number of issues, and are seeing an erosion of support among key elements of their electoral base.

The 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, which provided him an opportunity to directly speak to millions of Americans. Just 42% said they approved of Mr. Biden’s performance in office, which was virtually unchanged from the previous Journal poll in mid-November.

… The survey also found Republicans making gains among minority groups. By 9 percentage points, Hispanic voters in the new poll said they would back a Republican candidate for Congress over a Democrat. The two parties had been tied among Hispanic voters in the Journal’s survey in November.

Democratic margins also eroded among Black voters, who favored a Democrat for Congress by 35 percentage points in the new survey, down from 56 points in November. Support for a Republican candidate rose to 27% among Black voters, up from 12% in November.

A lot can happen between now and November, but these numbers are absolutely brutal for Democrats.

Drilling down deeper, the news gets even better for Republicans. Check out this split on who voters think will do a better job of reducing crime.

The figures in the left-hand column are the most recent poll numbers, with the right-hand column referring to a poll from November of 2021. There’s been virtually no movement in the Democrats’ direction on the part of the electorate, even as Biden and “moderate” Democrats have tried to distance themselves from the defund the police movement.

The numbers aren’t any better for Biden himself. In fact, they’re actually a little worse.

Nearly half of all survey respondents strongly disapprove of how Joe Biden and his administration have fared in reducing the rising rates of homicides and violent crime across the country. Those numbers are brutal for Democrats, but also well deserved.

After all, what has Biden’s crime-fighting strategy looked like in his first year in office? Beyond throwing billions of dollars in stimulus funds at “community oriented gun violence prevention groups”, Biden’s mostly focused on going after legal gun owners through the use of executive orders. Well, going after legal gun owners and trying to install a gun control lobbyist as head of the ATF. Biden has targeted the firearms industry far more than violent felons, and it sure looks like the American public is less than impressed with both his rhetoric and results.

Again, a lot can happen between now and the midterms, but I don’t see an easy way for Democrats to turn the public around on their crime fighting strategies. At a time when millions of Americans are embracing their right to keep and bear arms in self-defense, Biden’s betting big on gun control, including the impending rule on incomplete frames and receivers, which could be released by the ATF as early as next month. Those rules will almost certainly draw praise from gun control organizations and litigation from Second Amendment groups, but they’re going to have any impact on violent criminals and they won’t do anything to bring down the soaring homicide rates in cities like Philadelphia and NYC, which means they’re unlikely to make much of an impact on voters either.