Sep 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Claire McCaskill says Democratic Party has an age problem

The Democratic Party is contending with a leadership that is too old, former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Why it matters: With less than two months until the midterm elections, McCaskill suggested the party needs to do some introspection about how to bring forward younger members to attract young voters in the 2024 election.

What they're saying: "I do think the Democratic Party is struggling with an issue that is real," McCaskill said.

  • "A lot of old folks are running the Democratic Party now, in every part of the Democratic Party," she added.
  • "I think the Democratic Party will benefit from really doing some navel-gazingHabout 'how can we get more young people to the forefront?' because young people are going to be really important to us in 2024."

The big picture: Many of the nation's political leaders on both sides of the aisle skew older. President Biden is 79 while former President Trump is 76. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is 82, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is 80.

By the numbers: The average age of a U.S. senator was 64.3 last year, the oldest it's ever been.

  • That can leave geriatric leadership of government out of step with everyday life in America — and disconnected from the voters who give them power, Axios' Mike Allen writes.

Worth noting: A CBS News poll released last week found that 73% of Americans — 71% among Democrats and 75% among Republicans — believe there should be a maximum age limit for elected officials, with 70 being the most commonly chosen cutoff.

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