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Biden is too old but Trump is dangerous, swing-state poll shows

Gregory Korte, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

Swing-state voters across every major demographic group describe President Joe Biden as too old, a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll has found, showing that concerns about his age have permeated even the most reliable constituencies of the Democratic party.

Overall, eight in 10 voters in crucial states said Biden was too old, when asked to think about the frontrunners in the 2024 election. The survey was taken after a special prosecutor’s report that cast the 81-year-old president as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

In contrast, less than half of respondents said his almost-certain rival, 77-year-old Donald Trump, was too old. Still, Trump faces his own vulnerabilities with swing-state voters, with a majority saying the former president is dangerous.

In a sign of how top-of-mind Biden’s age and acuity are for swing-state voters, more than 1,000 poll respondents mentioned those themes even before they were asked about them directly. They referenced them in reply to an open-ended question about what they had seen, read or heard about the candidate recently.

Their responses underscore the depth and ubiquity of a voter concern that has sometimes overshadowed Biden’s policy achievements and proved difficult for his campaign to assuage.

Biden continues to trail Trump in all seven states most likely to decide the election, with swing-state voters’ perceptions of an improving national economy failing to translate into a significant increase in support for the incumbent. The poll of 4,955 voters was conducted Feb. 12 to Feb. 20 and has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

 

Trump maintains his lead over Biden if other candidates — independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein of the Green Party and independent Cornel West — are included.

‘Too old’

When asked about the two likely major candidates in November’s presidential election, majorities of Black voters, young voters and women labeled Biden too old. Even among those who say they plan to vote for Biden, seven in 10 said he fit that description. Voters were more likely to describe Trump as being mentally fit or in good health. Biden's Economic Message Falls Flat in Must-Win Pennsylvania

“Biden’s age is clearly a sticky narrative that the president’s campaign is going to have to contend with,” said Caroline Bye, a vice president at Morning Consult. While the candidates are only four years apart in age, “it’s clearly stickier for Biden than it is for Trump.”

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