These are among the terms most used by Americans when asked to describe the president. Joe Biden and former president donald trumpthe Republican best positioned to face him in next year’s election.
Unflattering portraits of the two are evident in a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which posed an open-ended question about what comes to mind when people think of them.
For Biden, the bulk of American adults — including Democrats and Republicans — mentioned his age. At 80, the Democratic president is only three years older than him. Assetbut many Americans have expressed genuine concerns about his ability to remain president.
Trump, meanwhile, has been charged in four cases totaling 91 counts and is drawing words such as ‘corrupt’ and ‘crooked’ (named by 15%), as well as ‘bad’ and other generally negative comments. (11%).
Just behind are words like “liar” and “dishonest” (8%). However, 8% gave generally positive comments such as “good”.
A closer look doesn’t make things much better because Biden or Trump. And while many of the critics reflect a familiar partisan divide, the poll shows neither man is immune to criticism within his own party.
“He looks like he needs to be someone’s nice grandfather on the arm, not someone at the wheel of power,” said Justin Campbell, a 27-year-old Democrat and security guard at the Brookhaven, Mississippi area about Biden. He got even more negative about Trump, saying the former president “behaves like a kindergartner when people say ‘no’ to him.”
Campbell suggested that Trump reads so little about politics and national security that he might be “functionally illiterate.” He said he plans to vote for Biden next year and: “I’m looking forward to Donald Trump being in jail. »
Such feelings were common. At least 26% of respondents use words like “old” or “outdated” to describe Biden, and 15% mention things like “slow” and “confused.”
10% make generally negative comments about the president, and 6% use words like “corrupt” and “crooked.” Just 6% offer words like “president” and “leader,” and 5% use those like “strong” and “capable” — the main positive comments made about Biden.
Biden’s age was mentioned frequently, even among Democrats, with 28% mentioning him — a significantly higher percentage than those who mention presidency or leadership (11%) or strength and ability (11%). ).
Trump’s negative comments focus not on his age but on his moral standing and conduct, as well as things like “loudmouth” and “angry” (6%), “crazy” and “dangerous” (6 %) and “narcissistic” (6%). . About 5% use words like “strong” and “capable.”
Rami Marsha, 58-year-old CEO of a manufacturing company from Agoura Hills, Calif., is a registered Democrat who voted for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020 – but says he would likely quit the presidential party of his vote. void if these two face off again in 2024.
“I think he might be suffering from some dementia, and I don’t think he has the power to run the country,” Marsha said of Biden. But he was just as blunt about Trump: “I’ve had enough of him. »
It’s a pretty common feeling. The poll shows just 24% of Americans want Biden to run again, while 30% say the same about Trump – and the majority say they are reluctant to support him if he is nominated again. In addition, 62% of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of Trump; 52% say the same about Biden.
Biden’s re-election campaign has said the president’s age is not a major motivating factor for voters, especially compared to the administration’s political achievements or key issues like abortion. He also noted that perception of the president and Democrats was not strong ahead of last year’s midterm elections, but the party defied expectations.
A Trump campaign spokesperson did not respond to messages seeking comment, but the former president has previously used his indictments to go on the political offensive, telling supporters at rallies, “I am charged.
Larry Haith, a 73-year-old Idahoan and retired president and CEO of an auto parts company, is a Republican who described Biden in the poll as an “idiot” and called Trump “arrogant.” He said he had no plans to vote for either next year.
Haith blamed Biden’s economic policy for dropping his net worth by at least about $150,000 and said the president “just needs to retire and move on.” Although he had some kind words for Trump, Haith also criticized the former president.
“I really like what he did and I like the decisions he made,” said Haith, who added that early on, “I really liked that gruff character about him.” But those feelings have subsided, he said, in part because Trump has what Haith described as “a typical New York cocky attitude.”
“I’m not going to support him anymore,” he said. “I’m done with him.” Annie Doerr, a 60-year-old retiree from suburban Atlanta who describes herself as a moderate Republican, said of Trump: “I thought some of his policies were good for Americans, but he’s just too much of a distraction. »
Doerr also had issues with the president, comparing it to what she saw while caring for her 95-year-old father. “He reminded me a lot of Biden, just things that come out of (Biden’s) mouth,” Doerr said.
“I just don’t think he’s fit to be president for another four years,” she added. “He may have been in his first campaign, but not now.”
The poll also illustrated familiar ideological divisions. He found that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to use words like “slow” and “confused” to describe Biden, 25% to 7%, as well as words like “corrupt” and “crooked” (14% at 0%) and “low” or “unskilled” (9 to 2%).
For Trump, meanwhile, top comments among Republicans include generally positive comments (15%) as well as things like “strong” (11%) and mentions of America or patriotism (8%), as well as than mentions of the presidency or leadership (6%). %).
Even some Republicans use negative words to describe Trump, including labels such as “loudmouth” or “angry” (7%). Others mentioned arrogance or pomposity (6%), narcissism (5%) or other generally negative comments (6%).
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to cite corruption (25% versus 4%) and dishonesty (12% versus 4%) when describing Trump. Seven percent of Democrats list racism, intolerance, homophobia or misogyny among their top words to describe the former president. Those words were hardly mentioned by Republicans in the poll.
Susan Grant, a 66-year-old retired office manager for a nonprofit physician association in Westfield, Indiana, said she considered Biden “very weak” and disagreed. with its policies. Trump, meanwhile, is “extremely divisive, and I think that’s bad for our country.”
“There’s this whole story in the Bible, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand,’ and all the division that’s just been promoted and pushed is just damaging our country,” Grant said. “I am very conservative on values and on economic issues. But personally, I don’t think Trump is a very good person. »
Grant has twice previously described herself as a Trump voter who “holds her nose.” “If he’s the GOP nominee against Biden, she said, ‘I’d probably do it a third time. But I wouldn’t be happy. »
“I’m also wondering if that’s what we need for a third party,” Grant said. “Maybe it’s the push. I don’t know.”