FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While the Democrats sweat it out over how voters perceive race and gender in this election, maybe it's time for the Republicans to take a look at how Americans feel about electing a 71-year-old man.
If John McCain wins, he will be the oldest person ever to serve a first term as president. And a new survey out suggests that the public might have more doubts about voting for someone of McCain's age for president than they would for an African-American or a woman.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 72% of those surveyed say voters are ready to elect a qualified black candidate, 18% say they're not. Meanwhile, 71% say Americans are ready to vote for a woman, 20% say they're not. But only 61% say the voters are prepared to vote for a person over 70, while 29% say they're not. Not exactly encouraging numbers for McCain and the Republicans.
Besides his age, McCain has had his share of health issues. He survived 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam, where he was badly mistreated. He's also been treated for melanoma – a potentially deadly form of skin cancer – four times in the last 15 years. But the Arizona senator is active and keeps up as tough a work schedule as any of the candidates out on the campaign trail.
Doctors say there's no reason McCain wouldn't be able to serve as president, although they point out that certain health risks – like heart disease and cancer – a can become bigger factors for people in their 70s.
McCain’s campaign plans to release details of his medical history next month.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to electability, is John McCain’s age a bigger factor than the Democratic candidates’ race or gender?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Thomas from Michigan writes:
Ya darn right it is! McCain is too old for the pressure. His judgments will be negatively affected. He probably won't be able to deal with a crisis call at 3pm! One's faculties are in decline at that age. That's why most sensible seniors retire!
Gender and race have no physical bearing on job performance. Age does.
At 71, McCain would not be allowed to be a corporate officer or sit on the board of most Fortune 500 companies. The businesses have it right. I will not be voting for McCain.
Jack, Age is not an issue. You put any healthy, young working-class Joe like me in the president's seat and we'd drop dead of a heart attack before the week's over. It all comes down to how you handle stress. The campaign trail is good testing ground to determine if you can handle the hot seat and McCain has done well so far.
Brian from Idaho writes:
Now you're getting desperate, Jack. Besides, as an old bag of bones yourself, you're biased in asking this question.
Jack, Of course age is a factor. McCain already said he was nine or something like that when Pearl Harbor was attacked; most of the younger generation has given Pearl Harbor a passing glance in class. He cannot remember who we’re fighting in Iraq unless he has Lieberman behind him to tell him the correct answer! I'm a grandmother and forget a whole lot of things so the last thing I want is some old guy with his finger on the button who thinks he's ringing for his secretary instead of dropping the bomb.
Q. What is John McCain's Social Security Number?
Q. Who are 1 and 2?
A. Adam and Eve