On Monday, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver stated that voters in the 2024 race should be very concerned about President Biden’s advanced age. In the event of a “Biden-has-a-McConnell-moment,” Silver cautioned, former President Trump may be one “McConnell moment” away from a second term.
Silver warned in his newsletter that a second term for Trump was possible if the expert class failed to see that Biden’s age was a real problem for people and a fair worry. Voters’ and voters’ legitimate concerns about Biden’s age are the same.
He said it will likely be a close race, and Trump may be “one Biden having a McConnell moment” away from victory. Silver thinks this election will be “very close.”
This comment about Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Senate minority leader, came after the Kentucky Republican’s second public breakdown in a month. During Wednesday’s question-and-answer session with the media, McConnell stared straight ahead like a deer in headlights for roughly thirty seconds.
The 81-year-old senator froze for almost 20 seconds at his weekly press conference at the Capitol in late July before being escorted away.
Silver said there is a “possibly important” age gap between the candidates, using population-level figures to support his claim that Trump is 77 and Biden is 80.
During their second terms in office, Silver observed, “the age of Biden and Trump corresponds with the infection threshold at which the probability of death begins to grow rapidly every year.”
At this age, one’s probability of dying significantly increases each year. Silver said it’s not crazy for them to suppose the age gap between Biden and Trump is relevant. Voters are diagnosing the candidates solely based on population-level data — or maybe based on their personal experience of being around aging parents and relatives. If Biden is showing signs similar to the behavior displayed by family members when the discussion is about taking the car keys away, no one will vote for that person to be the leader of the free world.
It’s a relatively simple concept.