Poll: Nearly 70 percent of voters say Biden is too old to serve again

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President Joe Biden narrowly leads former president Donald Trump even though an overwhelming majority of voters are worried about his age, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed.

The poll, conducted from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19, found that 49 percent of registered voters support Biden and 45 percent back Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup.

However, 67 percent of voters said the 81-year-old president is too old to effectively serve another term — compared with 57 percent who said the same of Trump, who is 77. Only 34 percent said Biden had the mental fitness to serve a second term, while 48 percent believed Trump is mentally fit.

Age has become an increasingly prominent issue in both the GOP and Democratic presidential primaries. Trump’s primary opponent, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, has taken swipes at both men over their age and Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips launched his challenge to Biden largely over his concerns that Biden’s age rendered him unfit to run — and win — against the former president.

Special counsel Robert Hur’s recent report on the president’s handling of classified documents — which found that criminal charges were not warranted, unlike in Trump’s own classified documents case — called Biden a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”

Both Trump and Biden have pushed back against concerns about their age and fitness. Biden has forcefully denied questions about his age, including in a contentious press conference defending his memory in the wake of Hur’s report. Trump responded to Haley’s attacks by touting his cognitive skills, saying he felt “about 35 years old.”

The survey also showed that voters largely support sending additional military aid to Ukraine, even as it has stalled in Congress. Among respondents, 56 percent were in favor and 44 percent were against more aid.

Voters were divided on providing further military aid to Israel in the war with Hamas, and overall slightly opposed it, 48 percent to 44 percent. The matter of sending aid to the U.S. ally has grown increasingly contentious as some lawmakers have raised humanitarian concerns about the effects of the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

The poll surveyed 1,421 registered voters nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, another poll results show that Biden holds a small lead over Donald Trump among registered voters even as the former president leads his successor on issues such as age, and mental and physical fitness in a new poll.

Forty-nine per cent of registered voters back the president, while 45 per cent support Mr Trump in a Quinnipiac University national poll released on Wednesday.

In late January, the same pollster found that 50 per cent backed Mr Biden and 44 per cent supported Mr Trump.

Among Democrats, 93 per cent support Mr Biden and four per cent back the expected Republican nominee. Meanwhile, 91 per cent of Republicans support Mr Trump, with seven per cent backing Mr Biden.

“When the hypothetical matchup is expanded to include independent and Green Party candidates, Biden receives 38 per cent support, Trump receives 37 per cent support, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. receives 15 per cent support, independent candidate Cornel West receives 3 per cent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein receives 3 per cent support,” Quinnipiac notes in a summary of its findings.

Sixty-seven per cent of voters think Mr Biden, 81, is too old to serve another term while 31 per cent think he’s not too elderly to go on.

In September last year, Quinnipiac found that 68 per cent thought Mr Biden was too old to continue as president while 28 per cent thought he was not.

Meanwhile, a majority of voters – 57 per cent – also thought Mr Trump, 77, is too old, while 41 per cent said he’s not too old compared to 63 to 34 per cent in September.

Asked about if the candidates have the physical fitness needed to serve a second term, 35 per cent said Mr Biden does – 60 per cent said the same for Mr Trump.

Sixty-two per cent said Mr Biden does not have the fitness required – 37 per cent said so about Mr Trump.

Mr Trump also beats Mr Biden when it comes to mental fitness – 34 per cent said yes for Mr Biden when asked if he has what it takes mentally – 48 per cent said the same about Mr Trump. Sixty-four per cent said Mr Biden doesn’t have the mental fitness needed – 51 per cent said that about the former president.

Voters were also asked about their ethics, empathy, and temperament, a category in which Mr Biden came out on top on all three questions.

Forty-nine per cent said Mr Biden was ethical – 47 per cent said no – 51 per cent said he cares about average Americans – 47 per cent said no – and 49 per cent said he has the “kind of personality and temperament it takes to serve effectively as president” – 50 per cent said he does not.

Comparatively, only 29 per cent said Mr Trump was ethical while 68 per cent said he isn’t, 42 per cent said he cares about average people, 57 per cent said he doesn’t, and only 37 per cent said he has the personality and temperament to be president while 61 per cent said he doesn’t.

Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a statement: “A Biden-Trump split decision on physical and emotional fitness leaves both looking vulnerable. Yes, Trump wins walking away on the age and stamina question, but voters have more confidence in Biden’s empathy toward them and his emotional stability to handle the job.”

Politico/Independent