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How old is too old for Washington? New poll shows where Americans stand

According to A Pew Research Center report released in January, the median age of the U.S. Senate is about 65 years old.

Published: November 7, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

The majority of Americans support age limits for their elected officials in Washington, D.C., according to a new poll.

The Center Square Voters' Voice poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, found that 68% of likely voters say there should be an age limit for president, and 63% said the same for U.S. senators and members of the House. The poll found 59% said there should be an age limit for Supreme Court justices as well.

The poll of 2,605 likely voters includes 1,035 Republicans, 1,074 Democrats, and 496 true Independents, and is among the most comprehensive in the country. It comes as the frontrunner presidential candidates for both Republicans and Democrats would be in their 80s when they theoretically leave the White House at the end of the next term, in 2028. Notably, the poll showed that most of those surveyed said the age limit should come well before an official hits 80 years of age.

The poll found that 38% of likely voters said the age limit should be somewhere in between 70 and 80 years of age with only 3% putting the cutoff above 80 years old.

A similar percentage, 39% of likely voters, said the age limit for those offices should be between 60 and 70 years old, which means a significant majority of Americans support an age limit, with many supporting age limits that would disqualify dozens of current officials – and prevent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump from running again in 2024.

According to A Pew Research Center report released in January, the median age of the U.S. Senate is about 65 years old. It's about 58 years old in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trump, who has more support in the Republican presidential primary than all his challengers combined, is 77 years old. Biden is 80 years old and has no major opponent in the Democratic primary.

Biden's age in particular has been a focal point after a series of flubs during speeches and moments where he seems unsure where to go after speaking. He often loses track of what he is saying and confuses key facts.

“Voters have eyes, and they have made their own assessment about whether President Joe Biden is up for the world’s most demanding job, and the answer is a resounding no,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square. “When pressed, Biden’s only answer has been ‘watch me,’ and that’s the trouble: voters have been watching Biden trip on stairs and falling off his bike.”

Some within the Democratic party have called for a younger replacement for Biden in next year's election, but removing an incumbent is difficult and could be politically detrimental. If Biden’s health changed, though, Democrats could mount a last-minute effort for a younger replacement.

“The world is an uncertain place right now, and during challenging times, voters look for strength and stability,” Reed said. “That’s not what they’re seeing from President Biden.”

The poll was conducted by Noble Predictive Insights from Oct. 20-26 and has a margin of error of 1.92%.

The poll weighted each party – Republicans, Democrats, and True Independents – independently, according to Noble Predictive. That means that the Republican subsample is weighted so it matches the national Republican population, and the same is true for Democrats and True Independents.

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