Quinnipiac Poll: Majority of Respondents Support Imposing Age Limits on Candidates

About 61% of U.S. voters would support an age cap as a prerequisite for presidential candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

This majority opinion underscores growing concerns about President Joe Biden’s age as he seeks reelection, according to The Hill.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, told CBS News that it’s reasonable for voters to be concerned about the age of presidential  candidates.

“I think that’s absolutely a legitimate concern. The presidency’s not a job for someone that’s 80 years old, and there’s nothing wrong with being 80,” DeSantis said, The Hill reported. “Obviously, I’m the governor of Florida. I know a lot of people who are elderly. They’re great people.

“But you’re talking about a job where you need to give it 100 percent. We need an energetic president. And I think that if the founders could kind of look at this again, I do think they probably would have put an age limit on some of these offices.”

Biden, 80, would be 86 by the end of a second term.

The poll’s results reveal that the cap proposal has bipartisan support, as 60% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans express their endorsement; 66% of independents favor the measure.

Regarding age restrictions for House and Senate candidates, slightly higher percentages demonstrate support, with 66% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans, and 71% of independents approving.

A plurality of voters, constituting 30% of respondents, advocate for setting the age limit at 70; 19% prefer a threshold of 75; 5% suggest an age limit of 80 years old; 2% of favor an age cap of 85.

According to Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy, the survey’s results “can only be perceived as a plea for younger blood in the corridors of power.” 

According to the poll, an increasing majority of voters (68%) say Biden’s age renders him unfit to effectively serve a second term, representing a slight uptick from the 65% in May.

Concerns about Biden’s age has remained a contentious issue throughout his campaign, prompting certain Republican presidential contenders to assert that supporting Biden is, in essence, endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris to assume the presidency.

“A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for Kamala Harris you know that, and I know that,” Nikki Haley said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “There is no way Joe Biden is going to finish his term. I think Kamala Harris is going to be the next president, and that should send a chill up every American’s spine,” Haley said, according to The Hill.

The White House has said that Biden has demonstrated his capacity to handle the demanding responsibilities of the presidency effectively and possesses a robust track record of achievements.

“I think with his age comes a lot of experience, a lot of wisdom. I think that wisdom has served the American people very well,” said Ron Klain, Biden’s former White House chief of staff, according to NBC News.

In the ongoing GOP presidential race, the leading candidate is former President Donald Trump, 77. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 63% of voters indicated that they do not consider Trump too old to seek another term, reflecting a rise from 59% in May.

In a CNN poll released last week, 76% of Americans expressed apprehensions about Biden’s age and its potential impact on his ability to complete a second term in office. This sentiment was mirrored by a Wall Street Journal poll conducted Aug. 24-30, when 73% of registered voters concurred that the description “too old to run for president” was fitting for President Biden, as reported by The Hill.

An Associated Press/NORC poll also uncovered similar sentiments in late August. It found that 77% of Americans and 69% of Democrats doubt Biden’s suitability for a second term due to his age.

Despite these concerns, 82% of Democrats expressed their probable or unwavering support for Biden as the nominee of the Democratic Party.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 7-11, gathered responses from 1,726 self-identified registered voters and featured a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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