The Number of Americans Who Believe Biden Is Too Old to Be President May Surprise You

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A new AP-NORC poll confirms what most Americans already know: 77% of Americans think that Joe Biden is too old to be president, including a whopping 69% of Democrats. And even though Trump is only three years younger than Biden, far fewer Americans think he is too old to serve.


The poll places the issue of age front and center as we head into fall. While the election is still more than a year away, the age problem is something the Democratic Party is going to have to address. Should party elders put pressure on Biden to withdraw? Should other challengers like Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) enter the race to force a decision from Biden?

We’re now beyond idle gossiping and entertainment for the chattering classes. How much longer can the Democrats pretend that their incumbent nominee is fit to serve?

The United States is currently in the midst of engaging in a dangerous foreign adventure in Ukraine, facing an existential threat from China, recognizing a slow decline in our ability to dominate world affairs, and seeing the will to remain an economic superpower fade away.

All of these crises are reversible — but not by a feeble octogenarian whose addled mind can’t focus on any of these difficulties long enough to properly address them.

The poll asked voters to name “the first word that comes to mind when they think of each candidate.”

26% of all adults cited Biden’s age and 15% mentioned words associated with being slow and confused, while only 1% and 3% did so for Trump, respectively. For Trump, nearly a quarter mentioned words associated with corruption, crime, lying, or untrustworthiness, while only 8% mentioned those traits for Biden.


Democrats who continue to think that Biden isn’t damaged by the age issue play right into the hands of Republicans.

Pessimism over the current president’s age is consistent among both younger and older adults, with at least 7 in 10 of those both under 30 and over 60 years of age viewing Biden as too old to effectively serve another term.

Among Democrats though, younger people view Biden’s age as a larger issue. Seventy-seven percent of Democrats under age 45 think he is too old to serve a second term as president effectively compared to 62% of those over 45. And while 54% of Democrats age 45 and older want Biden to seek a second term, only 34% of those under 45 agree.

“The American people are telling us on polling we’re doing and discussions we’re having that they’ve lost confidence in the two major parties, and by large numbers they don’t want to have to choose again between President Trump and President Biden,” said Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic Senator from New Jersey. Lieberman is founding chairman of the No Labels Party and says his party won’t play a “spoiler” in the 2024 election.

“Our plan is to only run if we think we have a chance to win realistically,” he said.

I don’t think this means that those who believe Biden is too old to serve would automatically vote for Trump. That’s why there is so much unhappiness and disgust among the voters with the choices before them. It’s why Vivek Ramaswamy and Robert Kennedy are getting serious looks from the voters.


Americans have never preferred a third-party candidate. But 2024 is shaping up to be the most unusual election since the 1876 contest between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. The election see-sawed back and forth until it was finally decided in the House of Representatives by one vote.

No one wants that sort of mess — especially since in this day and age, elections are going to be contested no matter how close they are.


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