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More than three-quarters of voters favor age limits for pols: poll

More than three-fourths of Americans want elected officials to be barred from serving once they reach a certain age, a new poll has found.

According to the CBS News/YouGov survey, 77% of respondents want a maximum age limit for politicians — despite an 80-year-old and a 77-year-old being on track to meet in next year’s presidential election.

A plurality (45%) of respondents who wanted an age limit put in place told pollsters the cutoff should be 70 years old; another 22% said the age limit should be 60; 18% said it should be age 80 while 8% said the maximum age should be 50.

Support for age limits crossed party lines, with 79% of Republicans and 76% of Democrats in favor, according to the poll.

The poll was released as the American democracy resembles a gerontocracy. In addition to the octogenarian President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is 71 — relatively sprightly compared to his 81-year-old Republican counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

All nine justices of the Supreme Court are over the age of 50, with five — Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — old enough to start collecting Social Security.

In Congress, at least 43 House lawmakers are at least 75 years old, as are 16 senators.

Questions of age and infirmity have loomed over Washington in recent weeks. McConnell has had two public episodes over the summer in which he froze up and briefly became speechless while answering reporter questions.

Also in the upper chamber, 90-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has had a handful of health scares, including a fall and a bout of the shingles.

Biden is the oldest president in US history and would be 86 upon leaving office if he serves a full second term.

The CBS/YouGov poll found that more than half of respondents believed the job of president (53%) and senator (54%) was too demanding for anyone over age 75. While 68% said they agreed with the statement that elderly public servants “have helpful experience,” 80% agreed that they “risk being out of touch with the times,” while 78% agreed that they “raise concerns about the ability to perform their job.”

The CBS/YouGov survey was polled 2,335 US adults between Sept. 5–8 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.7 percentage points.

The CBS/YouGov survey was polled 2,335 US adults between Sept. 5–8 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.7 percentage points.

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