Overwhelming majority of Americans think Biden is too old for another term: POLL

A majority also think Trump is too old for a second term.

February 11, 2024, 9:00 AM

An overwhelming majority of Americans think President Joe Biden is too old to serve another term, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

According to the poll, conducted using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, 86% of Americans think Biden, 81, is too old to serve another term as president. That figure includes 59% of Americans who think both he and former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, are too old and 27% who think only Biden is too old.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6, 2024.
Michael Reynolds/EPA via Shutterstock

Sixty-two percent of Americans think Trump, who is 77, is too old to serve as president. There is a large difference in how partisans view their respective nominees -- 73% of Democrats think Biden is too old to serve but only 35% of Republicans think Trump is too old to serve. Ninety-one percent of independents think Biden is too old to serve, and 71% say the same about Trump.

Concerns about both candidates' ages have increased since September when an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 74% of Americans thought Biden -- the oldest commander in chief in U.S. history -- was too old to serve another term as president, and 49% said the same about Trump.

The new poll comes on the heels of last week's report from special counsel Robert Hur, which recommended that Biden should not face charges over his handling of classified documents while out of office but did cast doubt on his mental fitness. Vice President Kamala Harris called the report "politically motivated."

With the report on Biden's handling of classified documents just being released this past Thursday, 38% of Americans think Biden should have been charged with a crime, while 34% say he should not have been and another 28% are undecided, according to the poll. There are clear divides by party :68% of Democrats say he shouldn't have been charged while 73% of Republicans say he should have been.

Trump has been indicted on federal charges in relation to his handling of classified information while out of office -- one of four indictments the former president currently faces while campaigning for reelection.

He denies all wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.

A June 2023 ABC News/Ipsos poll found that more Americans thought Trump should have been charged with a crime for his handling of classified documents, 48%, whereas 35% thought he should not have been and 17% said they did not know.

Hur highlighted the differences between the two cases in his report, noting that Trump allegedly refused to return the documents for several months, despite being given multiple chances, and "obstructed justice by enlisting others to destroy evidence and then to lie about it."

"In contrast," the report said, "Mr. Biden turned in classified documents to the National Archives and the Department of Justice, consented to the search of multiple locations including his homes, sat for a voluntary interview and in other ways cooperated with the investigation."

Despite these distinctions, when asked who they trust to do a better job of handling classified documents, more Americans said neither (41%), followed by Biden (33%) and then Trump (23%).

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association's Presidential Forum, in Harrisburg, Pa.,on Feb. 9, 2024.
Matt Rourke/AP

Amid Trump's legal battles, an overwhelming number of Americans (66%) think the former president should not be immune to criminal prosecution for actions he took while president, according to the poll. That includes 45% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats. Independents fall in between at 66%.

The poll also comes days after the Senate failed to advance a bipartisan foreign aid bill with major new border provisions.

Americans find there is blame to go around on Congress' failure to pass legislation intended to decrease the number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border -- with about the same number blaming the Republicans in Congress (53%), the Democrats (51%) and Biden (49%). Fewer, 39%, blame Trump.

More Americans trust that Trump would do a better job of handling immigration and the situation at the border than Biden -- 44%-26% -- according to the poll.

More Americans also trust Trump over Biden on the handling of crime (41%-28%), the economy (43%-31%) and inflation (41%-31%).

On another key issue, Biden has an edge when it comes to abortion, with 37% of Americans saying they trust he would do a better job versus 28% saying Trump. More Americans also trust Biden more on health care (38%-28%) and climate change (39%-22%) than Trump.

METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted using the probability-based Ipsos KnowledgePanel®  February 9-10, 2024, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 528 U.S. adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.5 points, including the design effect, for the full sample. Sampling error is not the only source of differences in polls. Partisan divisions are 25-25-41 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll's topline results and details on the methodology here.

ABC News' Dan Merkle and Ken Goldstein contributed to this report.