Joe Biden will make more gaffes than Donald Trump in live TV debate, poll suggests

Joe Biden in Italy
Joe Biden at the G7 meeting in Italy. A poll suggests the 81-year-old will likely make gaffes at a TV debate on June 27 - Baris Seckin/Anadolu via Getty

Half of US voters think that Joe Biden will forget where he is in this month’s televised presidential debate, a poll has found.

In the latest sign that voters do not have confidence in the US president’s mental state, a survey found many expect him to commit more gaffes on stage with Donald Trump on June 27.

The research, by the pollster JL Partners, found that 49 per cent think Mr Biden, 81, is likely to forget where he is, 41 per cent think he will walk the wrong way off the debate stage and 40 per cent think he will have problems standing up.

Mr Biden’s age has come under fresh scrutiny this week after he was filmed appearing to freeze during a Juneteenth celebration at the White House, while others danced around him.

At the G7 summit in Puglia, Italy, on Thursday, he appeared to walk away from world leaders and be brought back to the group by Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister.

The debate, to be held in Atlanta, will be the first time Mr Biden and Trump have gone head-to-head in this election campaign.

Mr Biden agreed to participate in the event on the condition that there was no live studio audience, and that the host CNN uses microphones that automatically shut off when each candidate’s allotted time is complete.

The poll nevertheless found that 79 per cent of voters think Trump will talk over Mr Biden, following a heated debate during the 2020 campaign in which the Republican contender repeatedly interrupted him.

Sixty-one per cent said that Trump was likely to tell a rambling story during the programme.

A separate survey by the same pollster found that the word voters most associate with Mr Biden is “old”, while Trump is most associated with the word “criminal”.

Other popular words for Mr Biden were “incompetent”, “senile” and “bad”. For Trump, others included “evil”, “smart” and “American”.

Mr Biden has repeatedly denied claims he is too old to run for the presidency for a second time. He often jokes about media coverage of his age on the campaign trail.