Half of Americans believe Biden's age makes it more difficult to do the work the presidency requires

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
November 21, 2022, 2:10 PM GMT+0

Many Americans are doubtful that being older helps a president, and even more believe that age for Joe Biden, in particular, is negatively affecting his ability to govern. Republicans are especially likely to believe that advanced age makes it more difficult to do the work the presidency requires, and there is an even greater gap between their concern about Biden's age specifically and the concern of Americans overall.

Among Americans, 38% say age hurts a president’s ability to do the job while 17% say it helps by providing experience and wisdom; 28% say age has no impact.

Republicans are especially concerned about the effects of aging on a president when the president is named Joe Biden. Three in four think that Biden's age makes it more difficult for him to do the job. However, the opinion of Democrats when Biden is mentioned is very similar to their opinion on age and the presidency generally. Biden's 80th birthday was Sunday, November 20th.

Opinions hardly differ between younger and older Americans.

Most Americans — 59% — believe there is an age at which someone is too old to hold the presidency. Among that group, the average age they say is too old is 74 and two-thirds say someone is already too old to be president before turning 80. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to think there is an age that is too old to be president, and to give a younger age as the cutoff.

– Carl Bialik contributed to this article

Polling by the Economist/YouGov was conducted on November 13 - 15, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Adobe Stock (Alex Wong / Staff)

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