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The age issue will defeat Biden

The age issue will defeat Biden

As I often point out, elections are won or lost depending on what issues voters decide to decide upon.  Republicans want voters to be thinking about inflation, crime and the border when they go to the polls.  Democrats want voters to focus on abortion, climate change and Trump as the wrecking ball of the American democracy – with emphasis on the latter.

Republicans have the advantage in the issues because they talk about issues that most Americans can relate to personally.  Democrats have one issue (pro-abortion) that does not have universal appeal. The climate apocalypse is too far off, and the threat-to-democracy argument is just a campaign narrative – which people will choose to believe or not.  Based on polls, apparently it is not selling well.

Most polls put the economy as the number one concern.  But is that the issue that will tip the voting decisions one way or the other?  The most critical and decisive issue may be … age (read that as vitality).  Specifically, President Biden’s age (vitality).

In general, most American voters would prefer candidates other than President Biden or President Trump – but for different reasons.  Regardless, it appears that is what the voters will get because the two major party mechanisms will separately produce presidential nominees most folks do not want.  The two parties are responding to the will of the folks in their respective political silos – and not the will of the overall public.

While the economy and abortion will be important issues, I suspect that voters – especially that all-important uncommitted group – will be thinking of Biden’s age when they are marking their ballots.

We see some of that in polls.  A large plurality – and even a majority in some polls – say that Biden is “too old to be President.”   Hardline Democrats will still vote for him because of Trump, but they will not decide the outcome any more than hardline Republican voters will.  Those two groups provide the base – not the critical mass.

There are a number of reasons why I am inclined to think that age will be a much bigger issue than is generally reported or even seen in the polls.

The first reason is the size of the Biden-is-too-old numbers in the polls. It is a majority of all voters.  But even a high percentage of Democrat voters think Biden is too old. That is an enormously significant statistic.

The second reason why I see age as the seminal issue is that it cannot be fixed.  There is no counterpoint or pushback against age.  If you are inclined to believe Biden is too old to be President today, you will still think he is too old tomorrow.  In fact, he will be older.

The third reason is that between now and election day, Biden will exhibit evidence of his advancing age and decline in mental and physical vitality.  There are likely to be “senior moments” or worse.

The fourth reason is that voters are already dubious that Biden will be able to complete a second term – whether he dies or becomes so incapacitated that it will be obvious to the public that he is incapable of carrying out the duties of the presidency.  Aides and the media will not be able to  conceal any worsening of his condition as they did with Franklin Roosevelt, who was dying during the campaign and died a few weeks after his inauguration to a fourth term.  Fool we the people once, shame on you,  Fool us twice … well you know.

The fifth reason is that the polls may not reflect the breadth and depth of voter concern over Biden’s age.  One of the issues in analyzing polls is dealing with deceptive answers.  People are reluctant to say they will vote a certain way if it makes them feel uneasy or unpopular.  Some Trump voters may not admit their vote because of all the negative media associated with being a Trump supporter. 

In one California election, the phenomenon was labeled the “Bradley Effect.” Tom Bradley was a black candidate for governor.  He lost.  The significant errors in the polling were attributed to those polled who did not want to say they were not voting for the black guy – especially if the person doing the phone survey sounded black.  We may find that those being polled do not want to sound prejudiced against old people.  People do lie to pollsters.

And indirectly related to the age issue is the sixth reason.  Biden has a Kamala Harris problem.  She has a bipartisan constituency who simply does not like her or her policies.  She has a lower favorable rating than Biden – and his is not so good.  Because she is not associated with making policy, she will not get any credit if the major issues turn in Biden’s favor.  There is virtually nothing she can do to improve her standing  with the American people.  Voters do not want her behind the main desk in the Oval Office.  The thought of her succeeding Biden is not a happy one. A very popular Vice President could assuage some concerns over Biden’s age. Harris intensifies them.

Despite all the efforts to make Biden look vital – and the limiting of his public exposure – the public is seeing what they see. They can talk about his energy and fine mind.  But voters see the senior moments. Biden can do his one-second jogging as he walks. But the public also sees the falls.  Even his obvious avoidance of unscripted public exposure is seen as a pragmatic strategy to avoid more gaffes.

The reason Biden’s age (vitality) resonates with voters to such an extent is because Biden IS too damn old to serve out a second term.  In 2019, President Carter said that 80 is too old to be President.  He is right.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Jim wampler

    The old bastard is too old to cut the mustard

  2. Frank stetson

    From the mind of Horist.

    “Abortion issue does not have universal appeal.” Of course it doesn’t. But choice does. Everyone likes a choice. And choice does draw voters from both sides of the aisle and in between.

    Age is relative, choice is not.

    And there’s that retribution, revenge, and dick-tater for a day thingee….

    But my bet is as the lies of 2020 that caused 400 and counting to go to jail for 1.6.2021 antics becomes more visible, the tide will shift.

    Rudy goes down for election lies.
    Trump’s lawyers go down for election lies.

    It only gets worse as time goes on.

    Trump’s cheating on taxes and business becomes more visible.

    And his defrauding the electorate, if that pops before the vote, Biden could pull it out.

    These will grind on, next milestone is really xmas sales and it looks dicey. After that, the March trials.

    I wouldn’t count old joe out yet.

    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. How many times can you repeat you litany of grievances? Especially when they are gratuitous and have nothing to do with the commentary. Geez!

      • Tom

        Well Larry, Frank has a couple good points.

        1) Abortion I think will be a big issue for women but not so big for men. For men it will be Biden’s age and his replacement should he not be able to execute the duties of his office.

        2) Having said #1, Frank is correct about choice. Dems will get more votes if they frame the abortion issue as GOP choice-stealers. I remember when Berks County, PA defeated the old “Blue Laws”. A merchant from the area that lead the effort named Albert Boscov (whom I worked for) shifted the discussion from the essential question of “Should stores be open for shopping on Sunday? to a question of “Would you like the right to shop on Sundays?” The polls said on the essential question that most did not want stores open. But the polls also said that more were in favor of the right to shop on Sunday if they want to. Hence, the Blue Laws were defeated.

        3) Age for me is an issue only if Kamala is his running mate again. If he pics a centrist VP with good qualifications that might change the game for me. Again, remember I intend to vote grid lock as it is the best choice for the USA if the only choices are Biden and Trump.

        4) For me, Trump retribution, Rudy, 1.6.21, Trump cheating on taxes – all are not big issues with me. Markets are a big issue. Biden should tout soft landing and markets not tanking, but Trump can brag the same thing. Trump was smart to throttle markets with good news in market dips and bad news in market ticks upward. It kept the markets pretty stable. But Trump did not achieve 4% growth as often as Obama. Much of all of this market stuff will be cancelled out by inflation and pump prices unless they come down to 2% and under $2 , respectively.

        5) Trump’s fooling with the electorate is a big issue because it shows his willingness to scheme to maintain power, but the bigger issues that worries me about Trump is what he will do when he no longer has to worry about being re-elected and restricting his thoughts to win votes. How will he govern and make decisions worries me because I think he will take us backward and on a path of authoritative style government just as Cheney says. I think she is correct about much of Trump, and Trump’s sister agrees with much of what Cheney says.

        6) People including me will forget 2023 Christmas sales by 11/24.

        • Frank stetson

          First he will come for his list. There will be few guardrails when he unleashes the full power of the Presidency. He will start by hiring Barr plus. If successful, the organizational infrastructure he puts in place will try to survive, thrive, and expand and will come for the likes of me. PBP types may applaud the fall of the commiecrat Tom. And, if that is successful, then they will come for you Tom.

          Am I paranoid? Maybe. I still remember them coming for my parents, Friends, in the 50’s and my older siblings, college students, in the 60’s. And no one in power then was as heartless as Trump who laughed at children separated or trumpeted leaders in south korea, turkey, and russia as role model heroes.

          Listen and take him at his words.

          • Tom

            Oh I do take him seriously. Trump is what I call a “broadcaster”! I just doubt he will be coming after the likes of me, and most likely not after you either Frank. But it will be a turn to authoritarianism. I expect many EO’s if he gets in. I expect a very divided country for another four years and endless Trump on tv spouting all of his garbage. I do not think it will be pretty. That is why I will vote for gridlock. The only way to get out of this mess is to let the hard left and hard right cancel each other out and only pass legislation that is more centrist and agreeable to both. The only silver lining is that no matter who wins, we will not have to deal with either after four years. Maybe then we can get some good folks in play.

            You must be referring to McCarthyism. I remember it but my father was a major in the USAF training bomber squadrons for Vietnam. My mom made him get out just before Operation Rolling Thunder under POTUS Johnson. I do remember many folks being on the FBI’s list. I had a few acquaintances in the SDS – PA Chapter that were on the list. I never got involved with any groups. I was busy working and making money.

            A little healthy fear is not a bad thing. If they had come after my family I would probably have some too. Hell, I already have some just from watching Trump’s first term and thinking of him getting in again. And when I see many of the responses on PBP, I see the intolerance, harshness, and ill will, what really scares me is that his followers, MAGA folks, many are like the folks on PBP. That most likely translates to about 20 to 30 million. That is scary to this moderate Independent.

          • Frank stetson

            Tom, the problem is IF he pulled off phase 1 and got retribution of his enemies, do you think they disable or expand the working infrastructure? And then, if they figure out how to steal our stuff, they will profit by our destruction. Thus me then you, the little people. It becomes an organic growth that they just scale up. Like a factory line that his voters will tejoice in.

            Germans found it real easy to look the other way once they benefited from all the jewish wealth, assets, and hell – skin lampshades….

            Sure, impossible, but ripping babies and little kids from mom’s is impossible in America too. I mean a guy who bonks a porn star while trophy wife is birthing barron does not have much of a moral compass. Horist will vote for that though.

        • larry Horist

          Tom … Abortion will be deciding issue for some mostly liberal women, who are predisposed to vote Dem anyway. I do not believe it will be the driving issue for most voters. In my experience, what you call it — pro-abortion, pro-choice, pro-life or anti-abortion — does not make a difference in changing people’s minds. People are pretty much locked in in what they believe about abortion.

          Sounds to me that you will not vote for Biden if Harris is the VP candidate. If so, proves the point of my commentary.

          I think Dems go way overboard in the fearmongering about Trump. I do not see his election as the end of the Republic. No matter how controversial he may be, he will serve four years … period. It will not be a takeover of the government by one person.

          Are you referring to Trump’s or niece, who is on tv a lot criticizing Trump. He has one dead sister and one living, but I have not heard a peep out the surviving sister.

    • Dan tyree

      And then what? Would we be better off? Is baby murder enough to turn the country communist?

    • AC

      Does the average voting age person actually consider the various pros and cons to do with each candidate? Do they look up how those on the ballot come down on issues most important to the majority of Americans? No and No again.
      Voting statistics show it’s the majority of the minority who choose to vote. Yet, everyone talks the talk as if they actually voted. If you are eligible, you should register to vote. If you are registered, then go vote on Election Day! Those who have not participated in democracy’s right to choose who governs, should not take credit or complain when votes are tallied.
      However, one’s having actually taken time off, patiently stood in line, signed in at their precinct table, waited for an available booth, and finally proceeded voting down the ballot from President on through to local offices; that person has done the minimum. They may expound on the merits of their opinion.
      Opinions developed tend towards the personal in nature. Individuals who venture their opinions in public open themselves to comment from others, in support of or contrary to. In the later instance, people taking the opposing position have equal rights to their opinion as the person making the original comment. That’s the truth in fact.
      Opinions put out in public in commentary may not contain the whole truth. This, in fact, necessitates opportunities are made available for correction. Again, that is freedom being exercised in America.
      Participation online messaging in blogs happens to be a free press. Anyone may join in, adding to the conversation. But, rules to do with writing for public consumption should apply and be observed.
      Therefore, on the one hand those who participate fully in democracy American style have the same rights as those eligible non-voting citizens. On the other hand voters and non-voters are both lawful when disagreement between opinions turns brutal and condemnatory.
      Disagreement is bound to arise. Back and forth commentary between different opinions. This is to be expected, even anticipated.
      The medium known as the internet, the information superhighway, provides us with opportunities to educate public awareness and learn from each other. Unfortunately, these same opportunities are being misappropriated for personal profit and public manipulation. Primarily, ideological opinion propaganda disbursement and conspiracy theory promotion.
      The consequences are dire. The politically vulnerable public are made so after being deluged with false teachings, misinformation, and grifter con schemes. From these our fellow citizens are lead down the proverbial false garden path.
      Indoctrination into a political party’s particular orientation solidifies voting into blocks and establishes safe districts
      Since, independent well informed thinking is time and labor intensive, a greater number of citizens take the easy route. They stick to a party by identify as one or the other just because.
      Those admitting to identify as a political independent person in America is an anomaly. Nobody, but independents, understands how one becomes unaligned to a political party. And, people who can not be understood by others are relegated by others to the back of the bus, culturally.
      Truth be told, the politically independent individual votes in every election opportunity. They study the important facts critically and each subject considered in its proper context.
      Candidates running for a particular office are rated according to beliefs established on the important issue subjects. Little or no regard for the candidate’s party affiliation enter the equation determining choice.
      Most people on both the right and left care not to put in the work required to concentrate and study, learn and discern, research and consolidate pertinent data.
      At the end of the day, age is relative. When you comment on a person’s youth challenged degree of vitality, it’s clear you know well of that about which you speak. As the saying goes” it takes one to know one”. But, your playing judge and jury in Biden’s case amounts to pure undocumented opinion founded theory. What is the court of public opinion if not identical to your own modus operandi.
      In a true court of law. if you assumed the role of prosecutor for the State, your case would fail for lack of confirmed evidence, lack of standing also. Demanding your will be done of by replacing to two element in the process and denying the defense a say, constitutes dictatorial, autocratic. and unjust practice. It’s fair to assume you are not privy to and. cognizant of Biden’s medical and mental assessment records .)
      While you are judging physical and mental (psychological) capacity to ascertain “vitality”. Consider Mr.Trump using your astute diagnostic assessment process. If both men intend running for the highest governmental office in the land. Surely, both must be assessed.on the same basis.
      Again, given the particular bias , yah prejudice, you obviously and proudly buttress continually with frequent blog posts
      I don’t see you as a retiring type, but retire you should. For frustration’s sake alone, nothing is changing for the better in your limited sphere and influence range.

      How a’bout that.

  3. John

    Yeah, I would like to see Crooked Joe Biden gone and out of our lives
    never seen or heard from ever again! He has got to be one the worst human
    beings to ever walk the face of the earth!

    LET’S GO BRANDON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tom

    I agree on the economy as the largest issue, and homeland security (border, Ukraine, Israel) and how we honor our commitments to our people and our allies will be big for me.

    Base is still a component of critical mass. The issue will be who can lure Independents/Unaffiliated voters, and, who will win the minority vote.

    I do not disagree with your issues one through six as stated. Really, four and six are the big ones for me and many like me. If Biden keeps Kamala, then gridlock voting is in play.

    Yes true, I think many of us will be watching how often he is not in public view and campaigning from the basement or wherever. It would not surprise me if the two choose not to debate. What is the point? We both know where they stand so it would seem like a waste of time. I actually think the VP debate will be more meaningful.

    Yes, while I am against age requirements per se, I think it is legitimate to create a constitutional ammendment that a person running for POTUS must be able to complete their term of office (if elected) no later than before or upon the date that they reach the average life expectancy age in the USA which currently for a male is 73.5 years, and a female 79.3 years. This way the requirement is based on life expectancy translating to the expectancy that the people can expect their elected choice to be able to complete their term.

  5. Darren

    I do agree about Biden’s age being to old, but what about the fact he is just INCOMPTENT!
    When the Republicans agree with Abortion in cases of Rape, Incest, Danger to the mother, the Democrat’s will
    go down on flames as have nothing to run on. Catholics have to get past Ancient ideology created in a time
    of no medical technology. Do Catholics believe in doing an Amniocentesis at mid term?
    Why? Was that performed 200 years ago?
    Everything pointed out against Trump is something that would NOT be pointed out against Clinton, Bush or Obama.
    Therefore it should not be a factor in any election.
    No president has sold out this Country like Biden and his family has EXTORTING moneys from
    Foreign Country’s.

  6. Mike f

    The age issue is not a winning issue for the republicans, despite what Larry states in his tome, because there is no real difference in trumps age vs Biden. Trump has made as many gaffs as Biden recently, and there have been plenty of reports from those around him that he (trump) is ‘slipping’ (though I question how it is possible to tell if someone as dumb as a trump is actually slipping). The only way that age will come into play will be if republicans wake up, realize that someone who stole secrets (as well as provided secret information directly to Russia early in his term) is not qualified to serve as dog catcher, and nominate Haley to be president-then age will definitely be a factor….

  7. ok9

    “Republicans have the advantage in the issues because they talk about issues that most Americans can relate to personally.”, only if you count divorce court, are you kidding?