A majority of Americans said they have "doubts" about President Joe Biden's mental fitness, while nearly two-thirds said he might be "too old" to be president, according to a recently published Harvard-Harris poll.
The results are not exactly surprising, given the alarming rate at which Biden, 79, has been committing gaffes on the international stage amid the lingering threat of nuclear war. Nevertheless, they might come as a surprise to consumers of mainstream media, where the coverage of the Biden administration tends to portray the president as a sharp and steadfast leader in these trying times.
The poll found that 55 percent of Americans had doubts as to whether Biden was "mentally fit to serve" as president, compared with 45 percent who expressed confidence in his mental fitness. By an identical margin, Americans also expressed doubts about Biden's ability to "handle difficult international issues." Asked whether Biden was "showing he is too old to be president," 62 percent of Americans said yes, while 38 percent said otherwise, including one in three Democrats. Two-thirds of Hispanic voters said Biden might be too old to be president, along with 43 percent of black voters.
That's not great, especially considering the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris is "a heartbeat away" from the presidency. On a related note, just 36 percent of Americans said they had a favorable opinion of Harris, which is pretty bad but only slightly worse than the 38 percent of Americans who expressed a favorable opinion of Biden.
The poll results paint a grim picture of the Democratic Party's political prospects in 2022 and beyond. For example, the party's approval rating was underwater, at just 42 percent, compared with 50 percent for the Republican Party. By a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent, most Americans said they would be more likely to support a Republican candidate over a Democrat in the upcoming midterm elections.
Looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election, just 34 percent of Democrats said they would vote for Biden to be the party's nominee. If he runs for reelection and wins, Biden would be 82 years old by the time he is inaugurated for a second term. Most shockingly, a full 15 percent of Democrats said that if Biden were to become too mentally decrepit to run, they'd prefer to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2024. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they'd prefer Harris, which would be an even more embarrassing disaster for the party.
Fact check: Neither Clinton nor Harris will ever be elected president of the United States.