Sep 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Poll: Most Americans think McConnell’s health, age “severely” limit job abilities

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at a news conference Wednesday. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A majority of Republicans and Democrats think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) health and age "severely limit his job abilities" after his second apparent freeze-up, a new Economist/YouGov poll found.

Why it matters: Despite the health scare prompting public concern, the 81-year-old said this week he has no plans to retire before his term ends in 2027.

By the numbers: The share of U.S. adults who think McConnell's age and health severely limit his ability to do his job rose 31 percentage points over the last three months, with 59% in September compared to 28% in June, per the survey results.

  • The concern was bipartisan, with 61% of Republicans and 58% of Democrats saying McConnell's age and health impact his ability to do his job.
  • About one in five respondents said McConnell's age and health have either "little effect" or "no effect at all" on his ability to do his job.

Of note: About 60% of respondents said they "strongly disapprove" or "somewhat disapprove" of how McConnell is handling his job, including 52% of Republicans.

Zoom out: McConnell's freeze-ups have reignited discussion on age limits and mental competency tests for politicians.

  • Of those surveyed, 76% either "strongly support" or "somewhat support" mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75.
  • Meanwhile, 13% of respondents either "somewhat oppose" or "strongly oppose" such a test.

Methodology: The poll surveyed 1,500 adults between Sept. 2-5 and had a margin of error of approximately 3%.

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