Poll shows voters aren't shying from older candidates

If the polls are a guide, the next president of the U.S. would be the oldest person ever to take that office, or close to it. But for all the things, small and large, that Americans care about when it comes to their presidents, age isn't one of them, a new McClatchy-Marist Poll shows.

By huge margins, registered voters don't mind if their presidents are over 65, the age when many Americans retire. Seventy-one percent of voters consider age a benefit, because leaders would bring wisdom and experience to the Oval Office. Only 24 percent of voters think it's a risk because after several years in office the president may not be up to the demands of the job.

That's good news for all four of the top polling candidates for the major party nominations. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Republican candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump all would be 65 or older on Inauguration Day. Two of them would be older than the nation's oldest president, Ronald Reagan, who was 69 on Inauguration Day. Sanders would be the oldest at 75. Trump would be 70, Clinton 69 and Carson 65.

"Voters are not turning away from the baby boomer generation," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute of Public Opinion. "It's surprising and personally gratifying."

Tribune News Service