WASHINGTON - Unflattering portraits of US President Joe Biden and Donald Trump emerge clearly in a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Those are among the top terms Americans use when they’re asked to describe President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the Republican best positioned to face him in next year’s election.
Unflattering portraits of both emerge clearly in a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which asked an open-ended question about what comes to mind when people think of them.
For Mr Biden, the largest share of US adults — including both Democrats and Republicans — mentioned his age. At 80, the Democratic president is just three years older than Mr Trump, but many Americans expressed real concerns about his ability to continue as president.
Mr Trump, meanwhile, has been indicted in four cases featuring 91 total criminal counts and elicits words such as “corrupt” and “crooked” (named by 15 per cent), along with “bad” and other generally negative comments (11 per cent). Not far behind are words like “liar” and “dishonest” (8 per cent). Another 8 per cent offered generally positive comments like “good,” though.
A deeper look doesn’t improve things much for Mr Biden or Mr Trump. And while many of the criticisms reflect a familiar partisan divide, the poll shows neither man is immune to criticism from within his own party.
“He looks like he needs to be someone’s kindly grandpa on the arm, not someone at the wheel of power,” Justin Campbell, a 27-year-old Democrat and security guard in the Brookhaven area of Mississippi, said of Mr Biden. He was even more negative about Mr Trump, though, saying that the former president “acts like a kindergartner when people tell him ‘no.’”
Mr Campbell suggested that Mr Trump reads so little about policy and national security that he might be “functionally illiterate.” He said he plans to vote for Mr Biden next year and, “I eagerly await Donald Trump being in jail.”
Such sentiments were common. Fully 26 per cent of respondents use words like “old” or “outdated” to describe Mr Biden, and another 15 per cent mention things like “slow” and “confused.”
Another 10 per cent give generally negative comments about the president, and 6 per cent use words like “corrupt” and “crooked.” Just 6 per cent offer words like “president” and “leader,” and 5 per cent use those like “strong” and “capable” — the top positive comments made about Mr Biden.
Mr Biden's age was referenced frequently even among Democrats, 28 per cent of whom mention it — a significantly higher percentage than those who point to the presidency or leadership (11 per cent) or strength and capability (11 per cent).
Mr Trump's negative comments center not on age but on his moral standing and conduct, along with things like “loudmouth” and “angry” (6 per cent), “crazy” and “dangerous” (6 per cent) and “narcissist” (6 per cent). Some 5 per cent use words like “strong” and “capable.”
Also, 62 per cent of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of Mr Trump; 52 per cent say the same about Mr Biden.