A growing majority of Americans said they think Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) health and age “severely limit” his ability to do his job, according to a poll released Wednesday and conducted after McConnell’s latest public health episode. 

In the Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults, a majority of Democrats and Republicans said McConnell’s health and age “severely limit [his] ability to do the job.”

Nearly 6 in 10 respondents expressed this view, including 58 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans. A total of 15 percent said McConnell’s health and age had “little effect” on his job, while 4 percent said it had “no effect.”

The poll was conducted Sept. 2-5, just days after McConnell appeared to freeze up at a podium for roughly 20-30 seconds while talking to reporters in Kentucky. It was the second time McConnell froze, after a similar episode occurred weeks ago at the U.S. Capitol.

The poll found that some Americans who had not lost confidence in McConnell after the first public freeze-up now believe after the second episode that his health and age are limiting his ability to do his job. 

The latest poll showed an 8 percentage-point increase in Americans who hold this view, at 59 percent in the latest poll from 51 percent in a July 29-Aug. 1 poll that asked the same question. That poll was conducted after the first episode in front of reporters. 

About two months before that, in a poll conducted June 3-6, 28 percent of respondents said McConnell’s health and age “severely limit” his ability to do his job.

McConnell, who this year became the longest-serving party leader in Senate history, has sought to signal to colleagues and the public that he’s fit to do his job.

He vowed Wednesday to keep his job as Senate Republican leader at least through 2024 and to finish his seventh Senate term, which runs through 2026, despite the health issues.


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