Democrats playing the age card. Really?
In recent weeks, Democrats have been running a new campaign narrative — that Trump is suffering the ravages of aging. In other words, they are attempting to push back against Biden’s political vulnerability regarding his age – or more precisely his increasingly obvious physical and mental decline.
As evidence of Trump’s alleged decline in vitality and acuity, the leftwing media folks are compiling a litany of Trump’s misstatements, mistakes, and slips-of-the-tongue as evidence of a growing debility. These examples are being presented as counterpoints to the litany of Biden’s misstatements, mistakes and slips-of-the-tongue that have been cited by his political adversaries.
Like many issues that evolve, the initial response was merely to point out that Biden is only four years older than Trump – 81 to 77 respectively. That simple statistic is not working with voters because they understand that age and vitality are two different things. The concern over Biden was NOT his chronological age, but his manifest physical and mental condition – with emphasis on the latter.
In fact, the strategy of countering Biden’s age/vitality problem by merely comparing ages had two problems. First, age was not the issue. It is vitality. Second, most folks understand that a four-year difference at those advanced ages can produce remarkable differences in both physical and mental condition.
Both Trump and Biden are at an age in which things start to develop in different ways for different people. I call it “the age of anything can happen at any moment.” In fact, barely more than one-half (55%) of white American males reach the age of 80 – and only 39 percent reach 85. If you only rely on statistics, Trump has a good chance – better than 50/50 — to complete a second term. He would leave the office at the age of 82 – close to Biden’s age going in. According to the statistics, Biden has only a 39 percent chance of surviving to his 86th birthday – the time he would otherwise leave office.
Of course, those are just statistics. Individual outcomes differ. What is more important is the actual physical and mental conditions. And that is where the age debate rages.
Despite the fact of Biden’s age and his apparent condition as observed by voters, Team Biden has now taken on the age issue as a new attack narrative against Trump. They are trying to convince voters that Trump is also too old and lacks the mental acuity to serve another term as President. In other words, Biden is trying to convince voters that Trump’s mental acuity is a as bad as his. Whoa! That is Team Biden’s latest attack strategy? “I may be old and losing it, but so is my opponent.”
The strategy has three drawbacks. First, it virtually concedes that Biden has age problems of significance to voters. And second, the strategy brings Biden’s age issues back to the front burner of campaign issues.
The third drawback may be the most problematic for Biden. It is how the voters view it. In every poll, the majority of voters give Trump the edge on the issue of age and vitality. The most recent NBC Poll found that 74 percent of voters have concerns about Biden’s “mental and physical” health compared to only 47 percent for Trump. About the same time, the ABC/NORC Poll found that 77 percent of voters believe that Biden too old to be effective for a second term, while 50 percent believe that of Trump.
That means the Biden strategy to wipe out the perceived difference between him and Trump has a steep hill to climb. It is that old classic question, “You going to believe me or your lying eyes.”
The credibility of the new Biden narrative is undermined by the fact that Trump has taken – and passed – cognitive tests, while Biden has refused demands that he take them.
I have opined in the past that I believe that age is going to be a HUGE issue in terms of voting. When considering Biden’s poor polling number on most of the key issues, the age issue may be the final nail in the casket, so to speak.
So, there ‘tis.