President Joe Biden is already the oldest president in U.S. history, and many Americans harbor legitimate concerns about whether he will be able to effectively lead the nation in a second term, given his advanced age and increasingly apparent diminished physical and mental health.
Biden just received some rather bad news in that regard with respect to his 2024 re-election campaign, as a new poll shows that nearly half of all independent voters say his age and health will likely "severely limit" his ability to do the job of president, Breitbart reported.
That is crucial, in light of the fact that winning the support of a majority of independent voters is vital to any candidate's hopes of winning a presidential election.
The latest poll from The Economist/YouGov, which surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults between June 3-6, asked respondents, "How much of an effect do you think Joe Biden’s health and age have on his ability to fulfill his duties as President?"
Overall, a plurality of 45 percent said Biden's age and health would "severely limit" his ability to do the job, while 34 percent said there would be "little effect," 11 percent said there'd be "no effect," and 10 percent were unsure.
Unsurprisingly, there was a distinct partisan divide on this question, as a majority of Democrats, 56 percent, said Biden's age and health would have "little effect" on his abilities -- 22 percent of Democrats said there'd be "no effect" -- compared to 77 percent of Republicans who said Biden's age and health would "severely limit" his capabilities.
Caught in the middle, as always, are independents, though a plurality of 48 percent fell into the "severely limit" camp while 29 percent said "little effect," 8 percent said "no effect," and 15 percent said they were unsure.
Those numbers are not too dissimilar from the results of a Harvard/Harris poll that surveyed 1,845 registered voters between April 18-19 and asked, "Is Joe Biden mentally fit to serve as President of the United States or do you have doubts about his fitness for office?" as well as "Do you think Joe Biden is showing he is too old to be President or do you think he is showing he is fit to be president?"
A total of 56 percent said they had doubts about Biden's mental fitness, which included 84 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents -- not to mention 22 percent of Democrats.
As for Biden's age, a total of 67 percent said he was too old, and that included 93 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents, and even 37 percent of Democrats.
Interestingly enough, Axios reported in late April that even some of President Biden's own aides and staffers in the White House have similar concerns about the ability of their elderly boss to handle the rigors of a re-election campaign -- much less another four years in office as president if he were to win in 2024.
To be sure, that isn't something any of them will talk about openly -- and his close advisers insist that the president remains "mentally sharp" -- but there are some quiet concessions that, due to his age, he simply lacks the energy and stamina necessary for another campaign and several more years of service in a highly demanding and stressful job.
Efforts have been made to hide Biden's diminishment from the public -- the article noted that White House staff goes out of their way to only schedule events between 10 am-4 pm on weekdays -- and they will publicly deny or counter any critical assertions about his capabilities to do the job.
But as polling has consistently shown, those efforts are largely for naught, as a sizeable portion of the electorate, including the vital independent voters, can plainly see that Biden is simply no longer up to the task, if he ever really was to begin with.