Insofar as age has been an issue in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the focus has been the advancing years of two of the frontrunners.
Seventy-six-year-old Joe Biden’s circuitous soliloquies and memory lapses leave many wondering if he is fit to be a candidate, let alone the President. Similar questions are asked about Bernie Sanders, 78, who recently had to take time off after being hospitalised by a heart attack. At 70, Elizabeth Warren campaigns with a bounciness that means her boomer status avoids too much scrutiny.
For all the understandable focus on how old is too old, however, the real generational battle is among the voters, not the candidates.
A New York Times/Siena College Iowa poll published last week illustrated the point well. Among likely caucus-goers of all ages in the crucial state, it is a four-horse race, with Warren on 22%, Sanders on 19%, Buttigieg on 18% and Biden on 17%. But, as the graph below illustrates, that race looks very different when you break it down by age. (Astonishingly, Biden is on just 3% among under-45s.)