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  /  News   /  80% of voters concerned about Biden’s cognitive health: DDHQ poll

80% of voters concerned about Biden’s cognitive health: DDHQ poll

(NewsNation) — A NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll conducted after the first presidential debate reveals growing concerns among voters about President Joe Biden‘s fitness for office and his ability to secure a second term.

The survey polled 1,000 registered U.S. voters between June 30 and July 1, 2024.

Biden’s cognitive ability

The poll found that 80% of all voters are either very or somewhat concerned about Biden’s cognitive ability to serve another term as president. Even among Democrats, 62% expressed similar concerns.

Independents are slightly more concerned than the general population about Biden’s cognitive ability to serve another term as president (82%):

Question: How concerned would you be about Joe Biden’s cognitive health affecting his ability to serve another term as President effectively? 

Very concerned: 54.52%

Somewhat concerned: 25.18%

Not too concerned: 12.95%

Not at all concerned: 7.35%


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Biden’s debate performance

Biden’s debate performance appears to have exacerbated these worries. Only 17.51% of voters believed Biden performed best in the presidential debate, compared to 54.39% who thought former President Donald Trump had a stronger showing.

The perception gap was particularly stark among independent voters, with 53% favoring Trump’s performance and only 15% backing Biden’s:

Question: Regardless of whom you plan to vote for in November, who do you think performed the best in the presidential debate?

Joe Biden: 17.51%

Donald Trump: 54.39%

It was a tie: 13.22%

Not sure: 14.88%


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Biden’s job approval rating

The president’s overall job approval rating stands at 43%, with 57% disapproving of his performance. While Biden remains popular within his party, with 84% of Democrats approving of his job performance, the numbers suggest potential vulnerability in the general election.

By age, Biden’s performance is rated the highest among older voters. Forty-five percent of voters aged 55-plus strongly or somewhat approve of Biden’s performance as president, while 55% strongly or somewhat disapprove.

By race, Biden’s performance is rated the highest among African American voters, with 57% of voters aged 18-34 strongly or somewhat approving of Biden’s performance as president, while 43% of voters strongly or somewhat disapprove:

Question: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as president?

Strongly approve: 17.72%

Somewhat approve: 25.60%

Somewhat disapprove: 18.11%

Strongly disapprove: 38.57%


Which Democrats are calling on Biden to step aside?

Democratic nominee

When asked about potential alternatives to Biden on the Democratic ticket, voters showed mixed preferences. Among all voters, 27.66% believe Biden is still best suited to defeat Trump in November. However, a plurality (30.70%) indicated a preference for “someone else” not listed in the poll options.

Among Democratic voters, 47% think Biden is the best candidate suited to defeat Trump, while 13% think the same of Harris, and 11% think the same of Newsom.

Other potential candidates mentioned in the survey included Vice President Kamala Harris (8.97%), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (9.26%) and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (6.39%). Notably, these figures trail significantly behind the “someone else” option, suggesting a lack of enthusiasm for the current field of potential replacements:

Question: Who among the following would you say is best suited to defeat Donald Trump in the presidential general election in November?

President Joe Biden: 27.66%

Vice President Kamala Harris: 8.97%

California Governor Gavin Newsom: 9.26%

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 2.47%

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer: 4.84%

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker: 1.76%

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: 6.39%

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg: 3.72%

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: 4.23%

Someone else: 30.70%

The poll results have intensified discussions within the Democratic Party about Biden’s viability as a candidate. Some Democrats have begun calling for Biden to step aside, though the campaign continues to insist that the president is fit to run and serve a second term.