by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Even before he became president, the now-79-year-old Joe Biden faced serious and persistent questions about his mental health. Among average Americans, those questions have become a major issue, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
The I&I/TIPP Poll, conducted online from Aug. 2-4 among 1,335 adults nationwide, shows that a 59% majority now say they are “very concerned” (36%) or “somewhat concerned” about Biden’s mental health.
That compares with just 39% saying they are “not very concerned” (18%) or “not at all concerned” (21%). Only 2% of respondents said they were “not sure.” The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points.
As is most often the case when the public is asked about a politician, the perception of the president’s mental health varies sharply by party affiliation.
Among Democrats, for instance, just 39% of Democrats say they are worried about Biden’s mental condition, versus 82% of Republicans and 56% of independents. But that 39% of Democrats, while not a majority, is still significantly high.
Fifty-eight percent of Democrats say they’re not concerned with Biden’s mental health. That compares with just 17% of Republicans and 39% of independents.
Otherwise, among the various demographic categories, responses were surprisingly uniform. Men and women, for instance, were identical in their concern over Biden’s mental health at 59% each, while those saying they weren’t concerned included 39% of men and 38% of women.
Broken down by ethnicity and race, solid majorities of both Hispanics (61%) and whites (63%) expressed concerns over Biden’s mental condition. One group was a noticeable exception: blacks, among whom just 44% said they’re worried about Biden’s mental state, while 53% said they aren’t.
Even looking at responses by age group didn’t show much difference, with 59% of those 18-24, 62% of those 25-44, 57% of those 45-64, and 56% of those 65 and over saying they were worried about the commander in chief’s mental well-being.