Mitch McConnell's recent appearances have raised concerns about his health. The senator appeared frozen in front of journalists on multiple occasions, which have gone viral on social media, facilitating the discussion on generational change in Congress. Unexpectedly, his situation could boost Donald Trump's hopes of returning to the White House, according to a leading political commentator.
FiveThirtyEight is a popular website that focuses on political analysis of the United States, with polls, commentary, and predictions. Its creator, Nate Silver, said Monday that former President Trump could be "Biden-has-a-McConnell-moment" away from achieving a second term.
For him, the age and perception of voters about the vitality of the candidates will be fundamental in 2024. Therefore, after seeing what happened to Senator McConnell, Biden will have to be very careful to avoid such moments throughout the campaign.
Went long on what I see as a pretty dangerous tendency to shrug off Biden's age. It's a real concern for voters and an entirely valid reason to wonder what his second term might look like.https://t.co/6x5v29kaEx
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 4, 2023
"If the expert class doesn't understand that Biden's age is both a real concern for voters and a valid concern, they'd better be prepared for a getting second Trump term instead."
Although there is not much of an age difference between Biden and Trump, 80 against 77, the analyst pointed out that the perception is "potentially significant". However, that does not mean that both are already too old to occupy the most powerful office in the world.
"The age of Biden and Trump during their potential second terms corresponds to infection point at which the risk of death begins to increase meaningfully every year.," Silver wrote. If he wins again in November 2024, the president would begin his second presidency at 82 years, while his rival would do so at 78.
"So again, if voters are diagnosing the candidates just based on population-level data — or perhaps based on their personal experience of being around aging parents and relatives — it’s hardly crazy for them to think the age gap between Biden and Trump is relevant," he concluded.