NY Times Breaking News: Voters Have Been Concerned About Biden's Age for Some Time

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the way the national media was expressing shock over Joe Biden's performance at the debate while simultaneously ignoring the fact that many people on the right have been pointing out this was a problem for at least a year. They literally went from dismissing the right's concerns as dishonest spin to echoing them without acknowledging this meant they'd been wrong all along.


Today the NY Times is trying to creep back toward reality with a new newsletter piece headlined "The Problem in Plain Sight." Yes, I know it's hard to believe they're publishing that headline a week after they ran with "How Misleading Videos Are Trailing Biden as He Battles Age Doubts" but that's what they're doing.

And make no mistake, the Times isn't saying the problem is in plain sight now. The whole point of this is to recognize that people have had concerns about this long before the debate.

The campaign and Biden’s surrogates are trying to portray the panic over Biden’s age, which ratcheted up after the 81-year-old president struggled to speak coherently and finish sentences on Thursday night, as inside-the-beltway chatter. But it’s actually the opposite. Polling and interviews have shown that voters around the country have long harbored deep reservations about Biden’s age, while Democratic power players in Washington have been unwilling to talk openly about them...

Biden had to overcome worries about his age to win the Democratic primary in 2020, and he decisively won the general election. But those worries — as well as an overwhelming sense of pessimism about his candidacy, continued from there, according to polling by The New York Times and others.

In the summer of 2022, a poll by The Times and Siena College found that 61 percent of self-identified Democrats wanted someone other than Biden to be the presidential nominee. The top reason Democratic voters provided for why they wanted someone else? His age. (Job performance wasn’t far behind.)


Biden did have to overcome worries about his age in 2020 but this comparison has been circulating since the debate:

And yes, these are clips from the debate but the point is there are a lot of other clips you could point to prior to that which show a decline in progress. Remember this one from September 2022?

That's Biden asking if a recently deceased congresswoman was in the room. That was the moment when I really became concerned about this.

Biden’s aides have consistently dismissed concerns about his age as being stoked by Republicans, as well as by journalists and pundits who have been too focused on it.

But I have often been struck by the fact that, when you talk with regular voters about President Biden, it’s one of the first things they bring up. They talk about what Democrats in Washington will not.

She could have added "They talk about what Democrats in Washington and major media outlets will not." But, okay, better late than never I guess. Still, it would have been nice if this was being reported two years ago instead of one week after the worst debate performance in my lifetime.


Lastly, it looks like Joe Biden and his family are sticking in this race despite all of the signals they are getting telling him to drop out. Meanwhile, as predicted, the debate is having an impact on polling and thus on Biden's chances of winning this election. Biden was already down, now he's sliding toward being out. 

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David Strom 2:40 PM | July 24, 2024