Friday, March 1, 2024

Biden’s age and fitness top the list of voters’ concerns, poll finds

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Poll Question:

Now let me read you some concerns you may hear about two of the candidates for president. For each one, please tell me whether it gives you major concerns, moderate concerns, minor concerns, or no real concerns about that candidate.

Three-quarters of voters, including half of Democrats, say they have concerns about President Joe Biden’s mental and physical health, according to the latest national NBC News poll.

That compares with 61% of voters having concerns about former President Donald Trump’s multiple felony charges, and less than half of voters having concerns about Trump’s mental and physical health.

“I think that [Biden’s] health and age kind of get in the way of his ability to be a good president of the United States,” said one female Democratic poll respondent from Wisconsin, who said she voted for Biden in 2020. She declined to share her name.

These findings are essentially unchanged from Sept. 2023, when the NBC News poll first asked about these concerns — and when more voters said they had concerns about Biden’s age (now 81) than those with concerns about Trump’s legal challenges. Trump is 77 years old.

On the question of whether Trump had the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term, 48% said they had concerns.

“Four more months of attention to Trump’s legal issues have not budged these numbers, with more focus on President Biden’s mental and physical health,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt.

In the new poll, a combined 76% of voters say they have major concerns (62%) or moderate concerns (14%) about Biden not having the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term, versus just 24% who have either minor concerns (13%) or no concerns at all (11%).

By party, 95% of Republican voters, 81% of independents and 54% of Democrats say they have major or moderate concerns about Biden’s fitness for a second term.

By comparison, a combined 61% of all voters say they have major concerns (51%) or moderate concerns (10%) about Trump facing multiple criminal and civil trials for alleged wrongdoing, including felony charges for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Thirty-nine percent say they have either minor concerns (11%) or no concerns at all (28%).

On that question, 95% of Democrats, 65% of independents and 27% of Republicans say they have major or moderate concerns about Trump’s felony charges and legal challenges.

Horwitt, the Democratic pollster, noted that because there are more Democrats who have concerns about Biden’s age than Republicans who have concerns about Trump’s legal challenges, the worries about Biden don’t appear to be driving vote choice to the same degree as worries about Trump.

“Yes, voters are more concerned about Biden’s age than Trump’s trials,” Horwitt said. “But Biden is still getting 17% among voters who have major concerns about his age, while just 10% of voters who have major concerns about Trump’s trials are voting for him.”

Additionally, the NBC News poll showed a combined 59% of voters who have concerns about President Biden’s possible awareness or involvement in the business dealings of his son, Hunter Biden.

The NBC News poll was conducted Jan. 26-30 of 1,000 registered voters – 867 contacted via cell phone – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

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