President Joe Biden became the oldest person elected President of the United States when voters flocked to the polls in November 2020.
Biden, then 77, surpassed incumbent Donald Trump’s record of being the oldest man elected in U.S. history.
When he took office, Biden beat Ronald Reagan as the nation’s most senior sitting president by 77 days – a record which he has increased ever since.
Should he win the election in 2024, Biden will be 82 when he officially begins his second term in office. He would leave the White House for the last time on January 20, 2029, aged 86.
Ironically, if he lost to current Republican frontrunner Trump, his record would be beaten by the man he defeated four years prior.
Given that only ten former presidents have surpassed Biden’s age after leaving the presidency, his well-being is a factor that could swing voters amid consistent conservative criticism.
In a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll from June, 37% of Democratic and Independent voters suggested that the President’s age means they’re less likely to back him, while 56% said it didn’t make a difference.
37% is a minority, but a significant one, nonetheless. Those voters could easily be deterred into supporting another nominee. Third party candidates have cost the Democrats an election to Donald Trump before, there’s no reason to suggest it cannot happen again.
Bernie’s Backing of Joe Biden
Sen. Bernie Sanders is one Independent who does not have a concern for President Biden’s age.
The 81-year-old veteran Vermont Senator ran against Biden in the Democratic primaries in 2020, although it’s clear there remains no hard feelings.
Speaking to NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sanders said that the President “seemed fine” when he met him a few weeks prior. “I met with the president, I don’t know five or six weeks ago. We had a great discussion. He seemed fine to me,” Sanders told the program.
“When people look at a candidate, whether it’s Joe Biden or Trump or Bernie Sanders, anybody else, they have to evaluate a whole lot of factors,” he added, expressing his belief that a range of issues will be at the top of voters’ minds including abortion, climate change, the minimum wage, and reforming the pharmaceutical industry.
President Biden himself has acknowledged his age is a “legitimate concern,” but dismissed claims that it would be a deciding factor in next year’s presidential election. “It doesn’t register with me,” Biden told reporters back in April. “But the only thing I can say is that one of the things that people are going to find out is, they’re going to see a race, and they are going to judge whether or not I have it or don’t have it.”
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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