Poll Finds Rising Tide Of Voters Worried Biden Lacks Fitness To Be President
US President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, June 22, 2023.
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A growing number of voters are increasingly anxious about President Joe Biden‘s fitness to serve as commander in chief as he seeks a second term, a new poll shows.

More than two-thirds of registered voters — 68% — said they have moderate to major concerns about Biden “not having the necessary mental and physical health” to be president, according to the latest national survey conducted for NBC News. That marks a 17-point increase from when voters were asked the question in October 2020.

The new poll shows 32% of voters said they have little to no real concerns, which is a drop from the 48% of voters who responded similarly in October 2020, roughly a month before the November presidential election that year.

Already the oldest person to be president at 80, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term. His tendency to lose his train of thought while speaking and moments caught on camera where he has tripped or fallen over have spurred concerns about his ability to lead effectively.

Biden said in April that his age does not “register” with him. “I respect them taking a hard look at it — I’d take a hard look at it, as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects,” Biden added.

Voters were asked the same question about former President Donald Trump, who is 77, is again running for the White House, and generally leads 2024 GOP primary polls. Fifty-five percent of registered voters said they had moderate to major concerns about Trump not having the needed mental and physical health to serve as president (up from 51% in October 2020), while 44% went with minor or no real concerns (down from 49%).

This new poll also asked voters about their level of concern with either Biden or Trump being re-elected and serving another four years in office. Sixty percent said they had moderate to major concerns about Biden while 58% said the same of Trump; 40% said they had minor to no concerns about Biden and 42% were similarly unbothered about Trump.

A hypothetical general election rematch showed Biden ahead with 49% support over Trump’s 45%. The survey also looked at a match-up between Biden and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, showing a 47%-47% tie in the general election.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates conducted the poll among 1,000 registered voters from June 16 to June 20, mostly by phone. The pollsters said their survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.10 percentage points for registered voters and plus-or-minus 4.38 percentage points for Republican primary voters.

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