With a win in November, John McCain would become the oldest first-term president ever, and to combat doubts about his age — when asked in February of this year, a quarter of registered voters (26%) said they think he is too old to be president, and this proportion rises to nearly a third (32%) when voters are informed that he is currently 71 years old — his campaign has decided to make his medical records available. While the vast majority (72%) say they do not think McCain is too old to be president, a February 2007 Pew survey found that about half of Americans (48%) say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate in their 70s. In general, McCain’s age is of greater concern to older voters than it is to younger voters. Just 24% of voters under age 35 themselves believe that, at 71, McCain is too old to serve. But among voters who themselves are of retirement age, 40% say that McCain is too old. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.