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K Street Republicans concerned about Trump’s mental and physical acuity

Questions about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness have overwhelmed the conversations leading into the 2024 elections, but on K Street, the concern is more about Donald Trump.

Two-thirds of Republican K Street leaders (66%) doubt Trump’s mental acuity and physical fitness to serve as president, our latest survey of downtowners found.

Meanwhile, Democratic K Street leaders seem more confident in Biden’s physical and mental capacity to serve. More than half of Democratic respondents (54%) said they are unconcerned about Biden’s cognitive and overall health.

One thing is for sure: Americans will be picking between two seniors in November. Recent polling shows the majority of voters believe both Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, are too old to serve an additional term.

But the results from our survey of K Street leaders, conducted March 4-22 in partnership with LSG, were a bit surprising. Biden has received more public scrutiny than Trump over the issue of age and fitness for office, and Republicans have continued to use the two issues to rally their base.

Biden also took a major blow after former Special Counsel Robert Hur in February described him as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” in the classified documents probe. Biden was not charged.

Although Trump’s numerous legal charges have dominated his reelection campaign, the former president has had his gaffes, too. Back in October during a campaign speech, Trump mistakenly referred to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the prime minister of Turkey. Earlier this year, Trump confused former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Both Biden and Trump would be the oldest sitting U.S. president at the end of his second term.

Want to take part in The Canvass? Our survey provides anonymous monthly insights from top Capitol Hill staffers and K Street leaders on key issues facing Washington. Sign up here if you work on K Street. Click here to sign up if you’re a senior congressional staffer.

— Donna Baeck

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.