Majority of voters believe Biden is too old to be an effective president, poll shows

Biden, the oldest serving president in US history, is 81, and Trump, the third oldest president in US history, is 77

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Sunday 03 March 2024 17:29 GMT
Related video: Biden and Trump clash over immigration strategy

A majority of voters – 73 per cent – say that President Joe Biden is too old to be an effective president. Forty-two per cent say the same about former President Donald Trump.

In a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted late last month, 47 per cent of survey respondents strongly agreed with the statement that Mr Biden is too old to be effective, while 26 per cent somewhat agreed. Fourteen per cent somewhat disagreed, and 11 per cent strongly disagreed.

For Mr Trump, 21 per cent strongly agreed that he’s too old, another 21 per cent somewhat agreed, 23 per cent somewhat disagreed, and 32 per cent strongly disagreed.

Concerns about Mr Biden’s age now threaten his re-election effort, even as both he and Mr Trump are showing signs of their age, often appearing to mix things up during public appearances. Mr Biden, the oldest serving president in US history, is 81, and Mr Trump, the third oldest president in US history, is 77.

Mr Trump was 74 at the end of his presidency, while the second oldest president, Ronald Reagan, was 77. He died in 2004 at the age of 93 after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.

A majority of those who supported Mr Biden in 2020 – 61 per cent – now think he’s too old to be effective, according to the poll.

Nineteen per cent of those who voted for Mr Biden last time around and 13 per cent of those planning on voting for him again said in the survey that he’s too old to handle the job of being the commander-in-chief.

Mr Biden’s doctor said after his annual physical this week that he “continues to be fit for duty”.

Physician to the President Dr Kevin O’Connor wrote that Mr Biden is “a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief”.

Dr O’Connor added that some of “stable and well-controlled” medical conditions include “obstructive sleep apnea, a-fib with normal ventricular response, hyperlipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux, seasonal allergies, spinal arthritis and sensory peripheral neuropathy of the feet”.

“The president feels well and this year’s physical identified no new concerns. He continues to be fit for duty and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations,” he said.

At the end of a second term, Mr Biden would be 86 while Mr Trump would be 82.

Forty-five per cent of registered voters said Mr Biden was too old to be president in the New York Times/Siena College poll.

The poll comes after a special counsel report into his handling of classified documents, which recommended no charges, described him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” as well as “diminished faculties in advancing age”.

Mr Biden blasted the report during a press conference, saying that his memory is fine even as he appeared to mix up the presidents of Mexico and Egypt.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in