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Majority of voters think Biden is too old to be effective president, new poll says

In World
March 03, 2024

A majority of voters in the US believe Joe Biden is just too old to be an effective president, according to a new poll by the New York Times and Siena College.

According to the poll’s results, 73% of all registered voters believe Biden is too old to be effective, in turn revealing spreading concerns about the 81-year old president’s mental competency.

Among those who voted for Biden in 2020, 61% believe Biden’s age will make him an ineffective president for a second term, with 26% indicating that they strongly agree and 35% indicating that they somewhat agree.

The results of the wide-ranging poll, which were first released Friday, are the latest blow to Biden’s election campaign which has faced a barrage of criticism centered around Biden’s age and widespread voters’ fears about his ability to be president.

At 81, Biden is the oldest president ever to seek re-election, though his likely challenger, former US president Donald Trump, is only four years younger. However, in much recent polling Biden is usually trailing to Trump and he also faces high disapproval ratings.

In response to whether Biden’s age is such a problem that he is not capable of handling the job of president, 45% of total registered voters agreed in the latest New York Times/Siena study. Among those that voted for Biden four years ago, 19% said they agreed with the statement.

Related: Joe Biden’s disapproval rating reaches new high, according to new poll

Meanwhile, across all registered voters, 26% expressed that while Biden’s age makes him ineffective, he is still able to handle the job of president well enough. Among those that voted for him in 2020, 41% agreed with the statement.

In comparison to Biden, 42% of all registered voters believe Donald Trump is just too old to be an effective president. Among those that voted for Trump in 2020, 5% indicated that they strongly agree while 9% said they somewhat agree.

Across all registered voters, 21% believe that the 77-year old former president’s age makes him ineffective but he is still able to handle the job well enough while only 19% said they believe Trump’s age is such a problem that he is not capable of handling the job.

In response to the latest poll, Biden’s campaign communication manager Michael Tyler said that polling “consistently overestimates” Donald Trump while underestimating Biden, Politico reported.

“Polling continues to be at odds with how Americans vote, and consistently overestimates Donald Trump while underestimating President Biden,” Tyler told the outler.

Tyler added: “Whether it’s in special elections or in the presidential primaries, actual voter behavior tells us a lot more than any poll does and it tells a very clear story: Joe Biden and Democrats continue to outperform while Donald Trump and the party he leads are weak, cash-strapped, and deeply divided. Our campaign is ignoring the noise and running a strong campaign to win – just like we did in 2020.”

The new poll comes on the heels of a Bloomberg News and Morning Consult study released last month which found Biden lagging behind Donald Trump in key swing states.

According to that poll, 82% of voters in key swing states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin believe that Biden is too old.

The poll also found a majority of voters, including 28% of those who plan to vote for him in November, expressing the belief that Trump is dangerous, particularly as Trump ramps up his extremist attacks amid his growing legal battles and attempts to secure the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

In a chilling speech delivered at CPAC last weekend, Trump vowed his “ultimate and absolute revenge” and declared himself a “proud political dissident”, promising “judgment day” for his political opponents.

Despite the rise in Trump’s extremism, concerns appear to still largely surround Biden’s age and efficacy. A separate poll conducted by Gallup last month found that Biden’s approval rating was at 38%, marking a three-percentage point drop from January, while 59% of surveyed adults indicated disapproval towards the president.

Amid growing concerns surrounding Biden’s age and mental competency, special counsel Robert Hur called the president an “elderly man with a poor memory” in a 388-page report released last month on Biden’s retention of classified material.

In response, Biden defended his memory in a fiery speech in which he adamantly said, “My memory is fine.”

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