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Americans believe Trump is more physically fit to be president than Biden, poll says

By Sarah May on
 May 8, 2023

Close on the heels of President Joe Biden's reelection campaign launch comes new ABC News/Washington Post polling that reveals serious voter doubts about his fitness for a second term, with 68% of respondents declaring him too old to continue in the role past 2024, as compared with only 44% who said the same about his potential opponent, former President Donald Trump.

That particular finding was just one of several yielded by the same survey, which cast significant shadows over Biden's prospects in the next presidential cycle and hinted at potentially undeniable headwinds for the Trump campaign.

Problematic Polling for Biden

Though they are only separated in age by four years, a substantial number of survey respondents believed that not only is Biden too old to remain in the Oval Office beyond his current term, he also lacks the physical vigor and mental acuity to do so, with far fewer individuals holding the same opinion of Trump, according to ABC News.

Specifically, 63% of poll respondents stated that Biden does not possess the mental sharpness to perform effectively as president, a noteworthy increase from the 54% who said the same one year ago and the 43% who held that belief back in 2020.

Respondents' assessments of Biden's physical health were also less than encouraging, with 62% opining that he is simply not in a sufficiently healthy state to serve.

Though Trump will be 78 years of age on the date of the next inauguration, 54% of poll participants said he has the requisite mental sharpness to serve, and 64% indicated their belief in his physical fitness to reclaim the presidency.

Doubts Across the Board

As if the aforementioned broad-based results were not alarming enough for the Biden camp, it appears that the skeptical view of his fitness for office runs through a range of key voting blocs.

Younger voters – typically a reliable Democratic stronghold – weighed in on Biden's mental and physical capabilities, with 70% of those aged 18-39 declaring him cognitively unfit, and 68% saying the same about him physically.

Respondents in the 40-64 age range did not have a great deal more confidence in the president's abilities, with 61% expressing doubt about his mental fitness and 60% doing the same about his physical fitness.

Further concerning for Biden will undoubtedly be the fact that, according to the poll, serious doubts about his ability to fulfill the requirements of the presidency also spanned educational levels, racial and ethnic identifications, and geographic regions alike.

Deeper Trouble Lurks

Similarly foreboding for Biden's reelection bid is that fact that when asked about the economy, far more poll participants favored the approach taken and the results achieved by Trump during his tenure in the White House.

By a margin of 54-36% respondents declared Trump to have been more effective on economic matters than Biden has been to date.

With economic conditions a perennial barometer of any president's approval rating, it is therefore not terribly surprising that Biden's dropped to a meager 36% in the aforementioned poll, a decline of six points since February, which represents a record low for his entire time in office and, as ABC News noted, is “numerically the lowest on record for any first-term president a year and a half from the next presidential election... .”

As bleak as the above-referenced poll results are, a slew of other warning signs for Biden emerged from the responses provided by those surveyed, as the Washington Post reports, including a general disapproval number that stands at 56% and includes 47% who characterized their disapproval as “strong.”

Evident Decline

Additional bad news for Biden relates to the ground he appears to have lost with groups that turned out for him in large numbers back in 2020.

Notably, Biden's approval among voters aged 30 and under stands at an eye-wateringly low 26%, and a worrisome 41% among urban voters.

Independent voters who pulled the lever for Biden in 2020 now approve of his performance at a rate of only 57%, with 30% voicing their disapproval.

Though rumors and rumblings about Biden's cognitive status and health condition have persisted throughout his presidency, it now appears that those concerns have definitively filtered all the way through the electorate. Precisely how Democratic Party elites respond to these stark revelations in terms of a possible course correction – or perhaps even a candidate substitution – only time will tell.