A recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll reveals that 62% of Americans are concerned about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness, while 51% feel the same about former President Donald Trump. This comes as speculation of a 2024 rematch between the two oldest presidents ever elected to first terms continues to grow.
Biden vs. Trump: Age and Mental Fitness
Throughout their campaigns, both Biden and Trump have criticized each other’s mental acuity and fitness, questioning each other’s ability to preside over the most powerful country on earth. Concerns about their age and cognitive ability have become major points of concern for each candidate.
The poll shows that younger voters, particularly Gen Z, are more likely to question the current president. Older folks, like Biden’s contemporaries in the Silent and Greatest Generations, give him more benefit of the doubt.
Party Lines and Independent Voters
Voters’ views on each candidate’s mental fitness are heavily influenced by party affiliation. 36% of Americans say that concerns over Biden’s mental sharpness aren’t genuine. Instead, they say such opinions are a political tactic by his opponents to discredit him.
A significant gap emerges among independent voters. By a more than two-to-one margin they say Biden’s mental fitness is a real concern rather than just a political strategy. However, their view of Trump is more evenly split.
Job Performance and Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Despite concerns about Biden’s cognition, his overall job performance rose slightly from last month to 45%. Americans are split on who to blame for the potential debt default, with 43% blaming Biden and 45% blaming Republicans in Congress. Opinions on the debt are largely aligned by party, but independents are more likely to blame Biden.
Read more at PBS.org