Poll: Age Is a Liability for McCain

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All joking aside, age is a serious issue that John McCain is going to have to overcome this fall. According to a new NBC/WSJ survey, 29 percent of respondents feel this country isn’t ready for a president over 70. McCain, who was born August 29, 1936 at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, is currently 71 and will be 72 by election day. If elected, he would be the oldest first-term president in American history. If he runs against Obama, the 25-year age difference between the two will be the largest-ever difference between major party candidates.

By contrast, the same survey showed that 20 percent of respondents said the country is not ready for a female president and 18 percent said it is not ready for an African American one. This is consistent with an early 2007 poll that showed being 72-years-old on election day is as much of a disadvantage as being homosexual. No joke.

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In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

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