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Biden’s age much more of a liability than Trump’s, poll finds ahead of presidential debate

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found 67% of Americans say President Biden is too old to be president, nearly twice as many as the 37% who said the same for former President Trump.

President Biden’s age is viewed as much more of a liability than former President Donald Trump’s, according to a new poll conducted ahead of the CNN presidential debate on Thursday. 

While 81-year-old Biden is just three years older than Trump, who turned 78 this month, about 67% of Americans say Biden is too old to be president, nearly twice as many as the 37% who said the same for Trump, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday. 

The results of the poll, conducted June 2-23, following Trump’s conviction in the Manhattan hush money trial, are in line with prior Gallup polling showing that 31% of Americans are willing to vote for a presidential candidate over age 80, and 63% are willing to vote for a candidate over age 70.


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In the June survey, Gallup said that half of respondents were asked whether each candidate is too old to be president, while the other half of respondents were asked whether they are concerned that each candidate is too old to be president. It showed that 59% were “very concerned” about Biden’s age, versus 18% about Trump’s. 

“When factoring in those who are ‘somewhat concerned,’ a combined 76% are concerned Biden is too old for the job, while 38% are concerned about Trump,” Gallup said.

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Gallup assessed that Biden’s age is not just a potential liability among Republicans and independents – majorities of whom say that he is too old and that they are very concerned about it – “but also among a sizable minority of Democrats.” The poll found that 44% of Democrats say Biden is too old, and that 31% are very worried about it. 

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Trump was 70 in 2017 when he took office, and Biden was 78 in 2021. 

Before them, Ronald Reagan had been the oldest U.S. president. He was 69 at the start of his presidency in 1981 and was 77 when he left office in 1989. 

A separate survey, the New York Times/ Siena College poll conducted June 20-25, also asked whether participants believed that Biden or Trump are too old to be an effective president. Its results released on Wednesday showed that a net percentage of 68% agreed that Biden is too old, while 39% said the same for Trump. 

With just over four months until Election Day, Thursday’s debate offers both candidates a rare potential to alter the trajectory of the race. 

Trump and Biden have not been on the same stage or even spoken since their last debate weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Trump skipped Biden’s inauguration. 

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Thursday’s broadcast on CNN will be the earliest general election debate in history. It is the first-ever televised general election presidential debate hosted by a single news outlet after both campaigns ditched the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which had organized every one since 1988.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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