WSJ considers age stereotypes in the 2016 election

Monday, March 14, 2016

Writing in her Wall Street Journal blog, the Washington Wire, journalist Jennifer Levitz explores the effect of the presidential candidates' ages within the primary process in her piece "Age-old issue gets diminished in Election 2016."  For example, Ronald Reagan was almost 70 when he was inaugurated; the oldest president in history. Now with nearly a year until inauguration, we have Donald Trump (69), Bernie Sanders (74) and Hillary Clinton (68) who are all significantly older than the rough average of 54 for an incoming president.

On this age-stereotype busting phenomenon, Columbia Aging Center Director, Ursula Staudinger, PhD, is quoted:

[T]he candidates also appear to be evidence of what scientists have increasingly come to understand, that chronological age isn’t a reliable predictor of vitality, said Dr. Ursula Staudinger, director of the aging center at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Data and studies are generally showing that our biological age is roughly 10 years less than our chronological age, she said.

“We are watching this finding in action,” she said, noting that if anything, there has been more negative talk about the youthfulness and length of experience of GOP candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 44.