Former Vice President Joe Biden referred to one young supporter as a “dog faced pony soldier”, and told another crowd he was running for senator. Slips like this on the campaign trail have lead may protential voters to think that Biden is not up to the task of debating current President Donald Trump.
A recent poll by Rasmussen reveals that over half of potential voters believe that the probable Democratic nominee should avoid facing Donald Trump in a live debate. The latest survey results indicate that only 54% of voters believe that Biden is capable of holding his own against Trump in a debate. A whopping 36% believe that Biden will be unable to stand up to President Trump in a live forum at all.
Ongoing questions and concerns about the former VP’s mental health and prowess, combined with a naturally more affable, less combative personality mean that the Democratic candidate could end up with a catastrophic performance. A poor performance in even a single debate could generate more questions about his mental wellbeing and fitness to serve.
President Trump has already shown himself to be an aggressive debater – one that voters on both sides of the aisle believe has a significant advantage over the more passive Biden in any live forum. One New York Times columnist went so far as to urge Biden to avoid live debates with President Trump entirely.
The remaining 11% of polled voters were not sure if Biden would be able to overcome Trump in a live debate. It is not surprising; recent polls also reflect that a staggering number of voters think that Biden is more than just not up or a live debate – they feel he is suffering from some type of dementia. 38% of voters responded that they felt Biden was experiencing some form of mental decline, and 61% felt the former vice president should address those concerns immediately.
Despite ongoing concerns about Biden’s mental health from voters on both sides of the aisle, many believe there should be live presidential debates on television this fall. 51% consider this to be a very important issue.
More than half of those surveyed believed that refusing to debate Donald Trump would have a devastating impact on Biden’ campaign. Only 9% of potential voters felt refusing to debate at all would help the Biden campaign.
These results point to some very real concerns about Joe Biden and his ability to serve as a capable and healthy president. While the campaign trail can be grueling for candidates, once assuming office, the winner will have to be able to act swiftly and deciseively and with full mental faculties.
If Biden can’t convince more than half of the potential voters that he is capable of staying afloat in a debate with President Trump, it will be very difficult to convince them that he is capable of holding the highest office in the land.