A new poll finds half of all registered voters have concerns about President Biden’s health and nearly half are worried about his mental fitness — as the White House continues to deflect questions about when the 78-year-old commander-in-chief will undergo a physical exam.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll published Wednesday found that 50 percent of registered voters disagreed with the statement “Joe Biden is in good health,” while 40 percent agreed and 10 percent did not know or had no opinion.
Similarly, 48 percent of voters disagreed with the statement “Joe Biden is mentally fit,” while 46 percent agreed and 6 percent did not know or had no opinion.
The responses on the health question showed a 29-point shift against the president from October 2020, while answers to the mental fitness question showed a 21-point swing against Biden.
Inevitably, the responses to poll questions on Biden’s health and mental fitness split along political lines, with 87 percent of voters who supported President Donald Trump disagreeing that his successor is in good health and 71 percent of Biden voters agreeing that he is in good health.
However, the survey finds that 54 percent of independent voters disagree that Biden is in good health, while just 31 percent agree. On the question of the president’s mental fitness, independent voters disagree that Biden is capable by a margin of 47 percent to 42 percent.
Biden, who will turn 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person to serve as president.
The survey did not have much better news for the commander-in-chief, with 44 percent of registered voters approving of his performance in office and 53 percent disapproving. The poll also found that nearly two-thirds of registered voters (64 percent) believe that the country is on the wrong track, while just 36 percent believe it is on the right track.
Republican pollster Neil Newhouse told Politico that voters are becoming increasingly aware that Biden has lost a step.
“When you watch Biden, you get a sense that he’s just missing a beat, that he’s not what he once was,” Newhouse said. “Voters are picking up on it.”
Newhouse also suggested that there is a lack of enthusiasm for Biden among black voters, citing a recent focus group in a Southern state.
“Biden is definitely slow on a lot of things. I’m not sure if it is because of his age, or if he’s still going after 30 decades ago,” one female participant said, according to a transcript cited by Politico.
When asked if she would support Biden in 2024, the woman answered: “If he’s alive. I’m just saying.”
The White House has repeatedly contended that Biden will undergo a full physical soon, but has not given a concrete date.
Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was pressed by reporters last week about whether the president would be examined before the end of the year.
“I don’t have anything for you. As [press secretary] Jen [Psaki] has said and we have said, that is going to happen,” she said. “And once it does, we will be transparent about it.”
Later in the week, Psaki herself said Biden will be getting his physical “soon.”
“As I’ve noted before, as soon as he does that, we will provide that information transparently to all of you,” she said. “He is regularly tested under the guidance of his doctor. We do provide that information regularly to all of you. I’m happy to check and see when the last time he was tested and provide that to you after the briefing as well.”
Psaki has also been forced to field reporters’ questions about Biden’s lingering cough during public remarks, which she has blamed on allergies.
The president’s persistent hacking became a hot topic at a White House briefing in September, when NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell asked Psaki about the cough and whether administration officials were worried.
“It’s not a concern,” Psaki said.
“We have a doctor who travels with him, obviously who checks in if it is ever warranted, and certainly that continues to be the case, as it has been since the beginning of his presidency,” she added. “I don’t think it’s an issue of concern. I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat or we may have a little light cold, and that’s certainly something that presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront.”
The poll surveyed 1,998 registered voters between Nov. 13 and 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.