October 5, 2023

By Will Weissert, Emily Swanson and Darlene Superville | Related Press

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is “previous” and “confused,” and former President Donald Trump is “corrupt” and “dishonest.” These are among the many high phrases Individuals use after they’re requested to explain the Democrat within the White Home and the Republican greatest positioned to face him in subsequent yr’s election.

Unflattering portraits of Biden and Trump emerge clearly in a brand new ballot by The Related Press-NORC Middle for Public Affairs Analysis, which requested an open-ended query about what involves thoughts when folks consider them.

For Biden, the most important share of U.S. adults — together with each Democrats and Republicans — talked about his age. At 80, Biden is simply three years older than Trump, however many Individuals expressed actual issues about his capacity to proceed as president.

Trump, in the meantime, has been indicted in 4 instances that includes 91 whole legal counts and elicits phrases corresponding to “corrupt” and “crooked” (named by 15%), together with “dangerous” and different usually damaging feedback (11%). Not far behind are phrases like “liar” and “dishonest” (8%). One other 8% provided usually optimistic feedback like “good,” although.

A deeper look doesn’t enhance issues a lot for Biden or Trump. And whereas most of the criticisms mirror a well-known partisan divide, the ballot reveals neither man is proof against criticism from inside his personal celebration.

“He seems to be like he must be somebody’s kindly grandpa on the arm, not somebody on the wheel of energy,” Justin Campbell, a 27-year-old Democrat and safety guard within the Brookhaven space of Mississippi, mentioned of Biden. He was much more damaging about Trump, although, saying that the previous president “acts like a kindergartner when folks inform him ‘no.’”

Campbell recommended that Trump reads so little about coverage and nationwide safety that he may be “functionally illiterate.” He mentioned he plans to vote for Biden subsequent yr and, “I eagerly await Donald Trump being in jail.”

Such sentiments have been frequent. Totally 26% of respondents use phrases like “previous” or “outdated” to explain Biden, and one other 15% point out issues like “gradual” and “confused.”

One other 10% give usually damaging feedback in regards to the president, and 6% use phrases like “corrupt” and “crooked.” Simply 6% provide phrases like “president” and “chief,” and 5% use these like “sturdy” and “succesful” — the highest optimistic feedback made about Biden.

Biden’s age was referenced steadily even amongst Democrats, 28% of whom point out it — a considerably greater proportion than those that level to the presidency or management (11%) or power and functionality (11%).

Trump’s damaging feedback middle not on age however on his ethical standing and conduct, together with issues like “loudmouth” and “indignant” (6%), “loopy” and “harmful” (6%) and “narcissist” (6%). Some 5% use phrases like “sturdy” and “succesful.”

Rami Marsha, a 58-year-old CEO of a producing firm in Agoura Hills, California, is a registered Democrat who voted for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020 — however says he’d possible go away the presidential race portion of his poll clean if these two sq. off once more in 2024.

“I feel he may be having some dementia, and I don’t suppose he has the ability to run the nation,” Marsha mentioned of Biden. However he was equally blunt about Trump: “I’ve had sufficient of him.”

That’s a reasonably frequent sentiment. The ballot reveals that solely 24% of Individuals general need to see Biden run once more, whereas 30% say the identical about Trump — and majorities say they’re reluctant to help them if they’re nominated once more.

Additionally, 62% of Individuals say they’ve an unfavorable opinion of Trump; 52% say the identical about Biden.

Biden’s reelection marketing campaign mentioned the president’s age isn’t a high motivator for voters, particularly in comparison with the administration’s coverage accomplishments or key points like abortion. It additionally famous that perceptions of the president and Democrats weren’t sturdy earlier than final yr’s midterms — solely to have the celebration defy expectations.

A Trump marketing campaign spokesman didn’t reply messages searching for remark, however the former president has beforehand used his indictments to go on the political offensive, telling supporters at rallies, “I’m being indicted for you.”

Larry Haith, a 73-year-old Idahoan and retired president and basic supervisor of an auto elements agency, is a Republican who described Biden for the ballot as an “fool” and referred to as Trump “conceited.” He mentioned he doesn’t plan on voting for both subsequent yr.

Haith blamed Biden’s financial insurance policies for his money web price declining at the least about $150,000 and mentioned the president “simply must retire and get on with it.”

Although he had some variety phrases for Trump, Haith was additionally crucial of the previous president.

“I actually like what he did, and I like the selections that he made,” mentioned Haith, who added that, at first, “I actually preferred that gruffness about him.” However these emotions have cooled, he mentioned, partly as a result of Trump has what Haith described as “a typical New York, conceited perspective.”

“I’m not going to help him anymore,” he mentioned. “I’m achieved with him.”

Annie Doerr, a 60-year-old retiree from suburban Atlanta who described herself as a average Republican, mentioned of Trump, “I believed a few of his insurance policies have been good for Individuals, however he’s simply an excessive amount of of a distraction.”

Doerr had issues with the president, too, evaluating him to what she had seen whereas caring for her 95-year-old father.

“He jogged my memory quite a lot of Biden, simply issues that come out of (Biden’s) mouth,” Doerr mentioned.

“I simply don’t suppose he’s match to be president for 4 extra years,” she added. “He might have been when he first ran, however not now.”

The ballot additionally illustrated acquainted ideological divides. It discovered that Republicans are extra possible than Democrats to make use of phrases like “gradual” and “confused” to explain Biden, 25% to 7%, in addition to phrases like “corrupt” and “crooked” (14% to 0%) and “weak” or “unqualified” (9% to 2%).

For Trump, in the meantime, the highest feedback amongst Republicans embody the widely optimistic (15%) together with issues like “sturdy” (11%) and mentions of America or patriotism (8%), together with mentions of the presidency or management (6%).

Even some Republicans use damaging phrases to explain Trump, although, together with labels corresponding to “loudmouth” or “indignant” (7%). Others talked about conceitedness or pompousness (6%), narcissism (5%) or different usually damaging feedback (6%).