Politico Poll: Voters Now Doubt Biden's Health, Mental Fitness President Joe Biden at a press conference in the State Dining Room at the White House on Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Wednesday, 17 November 2021 12:55 PM
Now that President Joe Biden has had almost 11 months to prove his worth, voters are losing confidence in his health and fitness for office, according to the latest Politico/Morning Consult Poll.
Biden is 10 points underwater with voters, half of which now disagree with the statement Biden "is in good health." Just 40% combined agree somewhat (26%) or strongly agree (14%), but 50% disagree, including a plurality of 35% of voters strongly disagreeing.
This is a 29-point swing since the last time the same survey polled that same question in October before the 2020 presidential election. Before that election, Biden was 19 points positive on voter perceptions of his health.
On the poll's question of mental fitness, the decline is even more marked. A plurality of voters now disagree that Biden is mentally fit (48%), leaving Biden 2 points underwater. Voters had believed Biden was mentally fit by a 21-point margin before the 2020 election.
Biden was the oldest elected president and took office as the oldest president in U.S. history. He turns 79 on Saturday.
"When you watch Biden, you get a sense that he's just missing a beat, that he's not what he once was," Republican pollster Neil Newhouse told Politico. "Voters are picking up on it."
Politico's Democrat pollster Celinda Lake says Republican messaging on Biden's lack of fitness is winning, even adding a claim this is "disinformation."
"They're running a very aggressive campaign on this, and it's bleeding over into the mainstream a little," Lake lamented to Politico. "By and large, the people who believe this are Trump supporters anyway or they've been exposed to the right-wing disinformation machine."
Lake's argument is unwound by independent voters who, by 23 points, disagree Biden is mentally fit. Democrats widely back Biden's fitness and Republicans overwhelmingly do not, according to the poll.
Biden is also 9 points under the majority of those who disapprove — at just 44% compared to 53% who disapprove. Among the other ways Biden is drowning:
- 26 points negative on being energetic.
- 20 points negative on being a clear communicator.
- 17 points down on being a leader.
All those issues that were stressed by Trump in the 2020 election campaign, and voters are now in agreement with the former president.
"Biden is definitely slow on a lot of things," a woman respondent told Politico. "I'm not sure if it is because of his age, or if he's still going after 30 decades."
Asked if she would support Biden in 2024, the woman quipped: "If he's alive. I'm just saying."
Morning Consult polled 1,998 registered voters Nov. 13-15, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.