US presidential election: is Biden's age a problem against Trump?

At 81, the American president left to campaign again against Donald Trump.

US presidential election: is Biden's age a problem against Trump?

At 81, the American president left to campaign again against Donald Trump. Will his advanced age work against him?

“At the White House senior residence, all the residents feel like presidents,” quips the Trump camp in a video shared by the former US president on January 13. The advanced age of Joe Biden, the oldest president in the history of the United States, is a ready target for his adversaries. The Democrat is launching his second presidential campaign at age 81. If elected, he would remain in the White House until he is 86 years old.

“If you vote for Joe Biden, you are actually counting on [his vice-president] Kamala Harris, because it is unlikely that he will last until 86 years old,” launched a few months ago Nikki Haley, the rival of Donald Trump in the Republican primary. The president's age is also omnipresent in the press, which seems to be watching for signs of his weakening: while the Washington Post releases a poll according to which three out of four voters find him too old, NBC News points out that his campaign team has had to increase the size of the text on the teleprompters, and the American site Axios notes that he is increasingly wearing sneakers to avoid falls.

In reality, Joe Biden is barely older than his main opponent Donald Trump: the former Republican head of state will be 78 years old in June. But “Donald Trump gives the impression of being much younger than the president, particularly because he is still as charismatic and enduring during his meetings,” notes David Smith, White House correspondent for the British daily The Guardian . According to the journalist, the fact that Trump has a series of legal cases and controversies also cultivates his image as a man of action. Conversely, “Joe Biden has days with it and days without it.”

It is of course two aging men that the two main American parties are banking on, to the detriment of a young generation, although present, but reduced to playing supporting roles. “The Republicans are convinced that only Trump can crush Biden, and the Democrats that the outgoing president is best placed to beat Trump, concludes David Smith. In this context, the age of Joe Biden does not matter.”

“Voters know that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are roughly the same age,” confirms American poll director John Della Volpe to Franceinfo. “If they are nominated by their party, what will take precedence in November are the records and programs of the two candidates, not their four years apart.”

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