More voters than ever say they are worried about Biden’s mental health

Biden is second consecutive president to face questions over his mental and physical wellbeing

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 17 November 2021 17:34 GMT
Joe Biden accused of falling asleep during Cop26 climate summit speeches
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A new poll by Politico/Morning Consult has found that the margin between voters who believe Joe Biden is “in good mental health” and those who disagree has swung from 21 percentage points to minus two.

Some 46 per cent of voters agreed that he was in “good mental health” and 48 per cent disagreed when polling was carried out between 13 and 15 November. A poll in October 2020 found more voters backing Mr Biden.

As many as 50 per cent disagreed that he was “in good health” overall, meaning that there was a swing of 29-percentage points from October 2020, when voters agreed that Mr Biden was “in good health” by a 19-point margin, to November 2021.

“Biden is definitely slow on a lot of things,” one poll respondent reportedly said. “I’m not sure if it is because of his age, or if he’s still going after 30 decades ago”.

The findings come many months into his presidency and days ahead of his 79th birthday on Saturday. He is already the oldest-serving US president and speculation is mounting about his candidacy for 2024, when he will be nearly 82.

While discussion about Mr Biden’s physical and mental health were favourites for his 2020 opponent Donald Trump and right-wing commentators, the polls go some way to suggest that voters are wavering on the issue.

It also comes amid lower approval ratings for Mr Biden and key figures in his administration.

Last November, Americans thought the then-77-year-old Democrat was not much worse-off than his 74-year-old Republican counterpart, who was accused of faking a medical assessment.

Mr Trump also infamously boasted about a basic cognitive test during an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace featuring elephants, a camera, a woman, a man and a TV.

Mr Biden has more recently been accused of falling asleep, or closing his eyes, during a Cop26 session in Glasgow, Scotland, and faulted on his communication with the US public.

Republican pollster Neil Newhouse told Politico: “When you watch Biden, you get a sense that he’s just missing a beat, that he’s not what he once was, [and] voters are picking up on it.”

A respondent, who was among almost 2,000, told pollsters of his chances for 2024: “If he’s alive. I’m just saying.”

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