May 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Less than 35% think Biden has "mental sharpness" for second term: poll

Joe Biden, wearing a blue suit and tie, and sitting in a leather chair, speaks to a group of people with an American flag in the background.

President Biden speaks in a May 5 meeting on investment. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former President Trump leads President Biden by 7 points — 49% to 42% — in a general-election matchup in a Washington Post-ABC News poll out today.

  • 44% of U.S. adults polled said they'd definitely or probably vote for Trump vs. 38% for Biden. 12% were undecided.
  • Biden's approval hit a new low — 36%, down from 42% in February.

Why it matters: Biden's re-election campaign is already trying "to shift voters' focus away from their reservations about him and instead make the 2024 general election a choice rather than a referendum," The Post notes.

On mental acuity, 94%of Republicans, 69% of independents and 21% of Democrats said Biden lacks the sharpness to be president.

  • "Just 32% overall think Biden has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president, down steeply from 51% when he was running for president three years ago," ABC's Gary Langer notes.
  • 54% think Trump has the needed mental sharpness.

On physical health needed to govern, just 33% think Biden, age 80, has it — vs. 64% for Trump, who's 76.

  • 58% of Democratic-leaning adults want to nominate someone besides Biden.

Methodology: This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted from April 28 to May 3, 2023, among 1,006 adults throughout the United States. Of those surveyed, 75% were reached on cellphones and 25% on landlines. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Data was gathered and processed by Abt Associates of Rockville, Maryland.

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