Analysis: What Does Biden’s Fall Tell Us?

A recent fall by President Joe Biden placed his physical health at center stage as the 2024 election season gets underway. Biden fell at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado this week and later bumped his head as he departed the presidential helicopter Marine One later the same day, sparking further concern over his ability to serve.

Biden’s fall at the graduation ceremony is one of a number that the president has suffered since taking office. This includes two instances of falling up the stairs leading to Air Force One and falling off his bicycle last year.

The president cited a sandbag on stage as related to his fall.

This is not the first time that Biden’s health received national attention. When polled, many Americans express concern about the president’s ability to continue in office, given his age and physical health.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll last month cited the concern of a majority of the American public over Biden’s fitness to serve

The president received the considerable benefit of the doubt from many traditional media sources. However, polling before the fall appears to support concerns over his health.

The poll found that nearly two-thirds of the general public believes that the 80-year-old president does not have the “mental sharpness” to effectively serve as president. Only 32% of the public disagreed. 

The number of those who believed that the president was mentally unfit was 9% higher than last year. Furthermore, the president’s physical health is also called into question. The same poll referenced 62% of Americans who believed that the president does not have the physical fitness to serve, compared to 32% who say the opposite. 

Even worse for the president, a majority of the American people rate his potential 2024 opponent, former President Donald Trump, as having the mental and physical strength to serve in the White House. 

When asked about mental sharpness, 54% rated Trump as having appropriate levels, while a larger majority of 64% approved of Trump’s physical fitness. 

The vastly different polling data may be an even larger concern to Biden’s reelection campaign, considering that Trump is only four years Biden’s junior.