Less than two weeks after announcing his re-election bid, a new poll shows the majority of Americans don’t think President Joe Biden is mentally or physically fit to serve a second term.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 63% of voters don’t believe the president has the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president,” while 32% believe he does, and 5% have no opinion. Twenty-one percent of Democrats believe the president isn’t mentally sharp enough for another term. Similarly, 62% of voters don’t believe Biden is in “good enough physical health to serve effectively as president,” while 33% disagree.
Biden, 80, is the oldest president in United States history. If he were to win re-election and serve a full second term, he would be 86 by the time he left office in January 2029. Even some elected Democrats have expressed their reservations about the president’s age. In October, when asked about the prospect of a Biden re-election bid, Michigan Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin called for a “new generation” of leadership, but added that she would support the president if he decided to run.
“I have been very vocal, including with my own leadership in the House, that we need a new generation and we need new blood, period, across the Democratic Party, in the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Slotkin said. “I think that the country has been saying that.”
Shortly after announcing his bid for a second term, the president defended his age during a press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“With regard to age, I can’t even say I guess how old I am, I can’t even say the number. It doesn’t register with me,” Biden told reporters. “I respect them taking a hard look at it — I’d take a hard look at it, as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects,” he added.
In the poll, President Biden’s job approval rating hit a low of 36%, with 56% disapproving. In February, that number was 42%. Fifty-eight percent of Democratic-leaning adults believe the party should nominate someone besides the president, while 47% of Democrats want the president nominated again, and an equal number want an alternative. As for independents who lean Democratic, 77% want someone besides Biden.
For Americans under 30 years old, his approval rating is 26%. In the 2020 election, President Biden received roughly 60% of the vote for Americans under 30, according to Pew Research.
Republicans appeared to fare better in the poll, which shows both former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defeating Biden in a hypothetical matchup. According to the survey, 44% of Americans would “definitely” or “probably” vote for Trump in a Trump versus Biden race, while 38% would vote for Biden, and 18% were undecided or gave a different answer. In a DeSantis versus Biden race, 42% would “definitely” or “probably” vote for DeSantis, 37% for Biden, and 21% were undecided or gave another answer.