Most US voters, including nearly half of Democrats, don’t expect Joe Biden to serve his full four-year term if elected president in November, saying his vice president will have to take the helm at some point, a new poll reveals.
Fifty-nine percent of all likely voters and, somewhat surprisingly, 49 percent of Democrats, say the 77-year-old Biden probably isn’t up to running the country for four years, according to the Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday.
Less surprising, 73 percent percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents agreed that it’s likely Biden’s running mate would become president sometime during his term.
The poll marks a startling revelation as the election draws near, given how infrequently such an event has occurred in US history. A US president hasn’t been replaced during his term since Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. Before that, a president hadn’t been replaced since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Apart from assassination, a president hasn’t been physically unable to finish a term since Franklin D. Roosevelt died in 1945.
Rasmussen’s findings also show how high the stakes will be when Biden chooses his running mate – a decision he has reportedly already made and is expected to announce this week. Biden has pledged that he will choose a woman for the job, and he faces pressure from within the Democrat party to pick a black woman.
The poll also shows that mainstream media’s concerted efforts to dismiss concerns over Biden’s mental and physical fitness for the job have been unconvincing to many Americans.
In an opinion piece published Monday, CNN’s Dean Obeidallah argued that a video of Biden riding a bike on Saturday “utterly devastated” allegations by President Donald Trump that Biden lacked the stamina and mental capacity needed for the job. Biden has fueled speculation about his deteriorating cognitive abilities by making a series of gaffes on the campaign trail.
Rasmussen didn’t ask likely voters what sort of event they expect to necessitate replacing Biden as president. Thirty-nine percent of poll respondents said it’s “very likely” that Biden wouldn’t finish his term. Only 14 percent said it’s “not at all likely.”
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