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Published:October 11th, 2008 15:25 EST
The Age Factor in this Presidential Election

The Age Factor in this Presidential Election

By Vincent Gonzalez

  Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, is 47 and is the fourth-youngest major party nominee, his opponent Republican Sen. John McCain is 72, a skin cancer survivor, and if elected would be the oldest man sworn in for a first term as president.

It`s one of the largest age gaps between presidential candidates in American history. For the most part, the candidate`s ages have not been considered a major factor in this presidential election, yet age is still on the minds of some voters; and in this close race, anything could make the difference.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 47% of those surveyed claim that age may be a political liability for McCain. Most of those polled are concerned that McCain would not finish a four-year term as president in good health. To pre-empt those concerns, Sen. McCain has allowed reporters to look through more than 1,100 pages of his medical records.

According to McCain`s personal physician, Dr. John Eckstein, there is no medical reason "that would preclude McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of the president of the United States."

In the poll, 20 percent of those surveyed claimed that Sen. McCain`s age would be a factor when they voted in November. Obama has not released any medical records, however his presidential campaign released a statement from his doctor claiming that he is in "excellent" health. Not since Reagan has age been an issue in presidential elections.

Yet, with this race so close, anything could make the difference. The good news for McCain and Obama is that in this election, their health isn`t nearly as important to voters as their plans for the economy, health care, and the war in Iraq.