A new Harris poll released Monday shows a startling number of U.S. voters question President Joe Biden’s mental acumen, and even more say he’s too old for the office.
Across all demographics polled, 53% said they doubted Biden’s mental ability and 62% believe he is too old to be president. Independents by a 14-point margin expressed concerns about his mental ability and even 12% of Democratic respondents say he is mentally unfit.
The incumbent president reportedly told former President Barack Obama recently that he plans to run again in 2024, despite being nearly 80 years old. Biden is said to believe he is the only Democrat capable of defeating former President Donald Trump if he chooses to run again. Another poll in January, however, showed only 41% of the party faithful agree with that assessment.
And sticking with assessing numbers, a Wall Street Journal poll last month showed Biden and Trump in a statistical dead heat in a hypothetical 2024 rematch. On Inauguration Day 2025, Biden will be 81 and Trump 77.
Back to the Harris poll, which also quizzed voters on a potential Democratic primary in 2024 should Biden be challenged, he is favored by only 37% of the total respondents. Still, he vastly outdistanced Vice President Kamala Harris (14%), Sen. Bernie Sanders (9%), and Hillary Clinton (7%).
The trend towards questioning Biden’s mental health and sharpness picked up speed in 2022. An ABC/The Washington Post survey just prior to his first State of the Union address showed 54% of Americans don’t think the president has the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively.” That’s up from the 43% who held that position in 2020.
Just before Thanksgiving, the president’s personal physician, Dr. Kevin O’connor, described Biden as healthy and vigorous in a six-page summary of his physical. However, White House officials, including spokesperson Jen Psaki, find themselves fielding more and more fielding questions about the president’s abilities.
No matter the party or president, the United States needs fit and capable leaders — now more than ever. These questions have been asked before, going back to late in Reagan’s second term, and they are fair and vital questions.