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Democrat elites worried about Biden’s age

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President Joe Biden, a proponent of abortion rights, is, according to numerous sources, not a particularly popular figure within his own party. His approval ratings are at an all-time low, and they are equally poor when people are asked about his handling of specific issues, such as the economy.

The Washington Post, however, has occasionally demonstrated a willingness to consider alternative perspectives. A Washington Post article by Toluse Olorunnipa, Meryl Kornfield, and Colby Itkowitz notes that persistent concerns over Biden’s age coincide with a series of polls indicating that he is in a statistical tie with Trump. The following is a summary of the aforementioned data:

A growing number of polls are showing voters concerned about President Biden’s age and energy. Democratic lawmakers have hesitated to offer full-throated endorsements of his running mate. Prominent commentators have ruminated on whether he should drop out of the presidential race.

This series of political vulnerabilities — along with House Republicans announcing an impeachment inquiry and the Justice Department indicting Biden’s son on gun charges — is now sending waves of anxiety through parts of the Democratic Party, as some fret about whether the man who helped oust Donald Trump from the White House may not have the vitality, at 80, to  successfully prevent a return.

For President Biden, the aforementioned analysis is flawed; however, the subsequent paragraph is even more problematic.

“He is in a period of his life where passing and death is imminent,” said Sharon Sweda, the leader of the Democratic Party in Lorain County in Ohio, who said she often hears from voters worried about the president’s potential frailty. “We are all on a ticking clock. But when you’re at his age or at Trump’s age, that clock is ticking a little faster, and that’s a concern for voters.”

It is a matter of concern. The manner in which these narratives are crafted necessitates the inclusion of several paragraphs that reassure those who are overly concerned. The situation is not as dire as they may believe. “A significant number of Democrats have expressed unwavering support for the president’s intention to seek a second term in office, and no prominent figure has emerged to challenge him in a primary election,” Olorunnipa, Kornfield, and Itkowitz observe.


But few offered confident assessments that Biden’s stubbornly low approval ratings would rebound before next year, and many conceded that one of the president’s most significant challenges is one he has no control over: his age. Supporters and critics alike suggested that Biden’s prospects may hinge on whether he can find a way to overcome a persistent and growing feeling in the electorate that his advanced age is his defining characteristic. …

Another “but”:

But one House Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment of Biden’s candidacy, said he has heard concerns among fellow members as well as major Democratic donors about whether the president can sustain a grueling campaign and another four years in office.

In our previous article, we discussed the results of a CBS News poll released the day before the Washington Post story. Those identifying as Democrats faced significant challenges. For example, after discussing the relatively poor standing of previous Democrat presidents at this stage of the electoral cycle, we read:

And those Democrats won’t find any solace in this: today Mr. Biden is down one point, and inside the margin of error, in a match-up with Donald Trump, whom he beat by seven million votes three years ago.

With most voters unsure he’d stay through a second term if he did get one, and their concerns about whether Mr. Biden is healthy enough, it’s all adding uncertainty for an already unsettled public.

A multitude of inquiries have been posed regarding the physical and mental fitness of potential presidential candidates. For instance, 43% of respondents indicated that only Trump is physically fit to serve as president, while 16% asserted that only Biden is mentally and cognitively capable of the role. Similarly, 44% of respondents stated that Trump is the only candidate with the requisite physical fitness, while 26% asserted that Biden is the only candidate with the requisite mental and cognitive fitness.

Another noteworthy finding from the CBS News poll is as follows: The poll also revealed that independents were more likely to prioritize physical health over mental and cognitive health when considering a candidate’s suitability for the presidency.

It’s long been a misnomer when Independents are conflated with swing voters. In reality most so-called ‘Independents’ say they vote mainly for one party, even though they call themselves independents. Only a relative handful of them—just a third—are truly Independent and vote equally for either party over time. These make a good barometer: Mr. Biden is losing our ‘truly independent” definition today by 20 pointsHe was almost even with them in their 2020 votes.

More tomorrow.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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