Polls Show Nearly Half of Democrats Believe Biden Should Drop Out

Nearly 75 percent of voters polled don’t think the president has the mental fitness to serve

The first presidential debate between US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump in the CNN studio in Atlanta. Artem Priakhin/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Over the past year, voters have consistently said that they believe 81-year-old President Joe Biden is too old to serve as president. When CBS News asked registered voters in early June whether they thought Biden had the mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president, 65 percent of them said no. And that was before Thursday’s disastrous debate when Biden froze, lost his train of thought, provided incoherent responses, and otherwise mumbled through his first debate with former president Donald Trump.

But when CBS asked voters after the debate how they felt about Biden’s mental fitness now, that figure jumped seven points. Fully 72 percent of the respondents thought Biden was mentally unfit for office. Only 18 percent of voters polled thought Biden inspired confidence at the debate, compared with 44 percent who thought Trump did. Nearly half think Biden should not be running for office, up 10 points since February, and 45 percent of registered Democrats think he should step aside.

That’s not to suggest that voters are sold on Trump’s mental fitness, either, despite his repeated boasts about acing the cognitive tests administered by his doctor. Only 50 percent of the voters polled thought the 78-year-old former president was fit to serve. And they recognized that much of what he said during the debate consisted of lies. Nonetheless, they rated his performance better than Biden’s and gave him much better marks for inspiring confidence and presenting his ideas clearly.

The debate was followed by several days of calls for him to step down by some funders and several liberal media outlets, including the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. On Friday, David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, added his voice to the chorus, writing:

“Watching Thursday’s debate, observing Biden wander into senselessness onstage, was an agonizing experience, and it is bound to obliterate forever all those vague and qualified descriptions from White House insiders about good days and bad days,” he wrote. “You watched it, and, on the most basic human level, you could only feel pity for the man and, more, fear for the country….To stay in the race would be pure vanity, uncharacteristic of someone whom most have come to view as decent and devoted to public service.”

Biden is reportedly conferring with his family and advisors at Camp David today. These poll numbers probably won’t do much to improve the mood.

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate