How Old Is Too Old for President? Depends Who’s Running
Does a candidate’s age matter in presidential elections? It’s less relevant than you might think.
A pew poll released last week asked voters how likely they would be to support a presidential candidate with various traits or experiences, like being a governor, a Catholic or a woman. Although these might seem like important factors in how people make up their minds, voters often seem to work backward, rationalizing their views of the likely contenders rather than expressing a strong preference for a particular type of candidate.
Before the 2008 presidential campaign, for example, Democrats were much more likely to raise concerns about electing an older presidential candidate. A February2007 Pew poll showed, for instance, that 60 percent of Democrats said they would be less likely to support presidential candidates in their 70s — far more than Republicans (42 percent) and independents (43 percent).