It turns out that a slight majority of Americans, including nearly half of Democrats, think a presidential candidate should release all medical information that could impact his or her ability to serve as president, a recent poll shows.
In a survey conducted last week, Gallup found 51 percent of Americans think candidates should release their medical records, compared with 46 percent who think a candidate has the right to keep their records private like other citizens.
And apparently, the new poll results are starkly different than they were when Gallup asked the same question back in 2004, when former President George W. Bush was campaigning for a second term against now Secretary of State John Kerry.
This is a change from 2004, the last time Gallup asked this question, when 38% said presidents should release all information and 61% said they should be able to keep those records private.
Gallup’s survey comes after months of speculation over the health of the current presidential candidates – in particular, that of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whose recently near-collapse after a 9/11 memorial service her subsequent pneumonia diagnosis has led to widespread speculation about a potential serious health condition.
According to Gallup, a solid two-thirds (66 percent) of Republicans responded both candidates should have to release their medical records, while only 34 percent said the candidates have the right to keep them private.
On the other hand, a slight majority of Independents (52 percent) said they think a candidate has the right to privacy when it comes to his or her medical records, compared with 45 percent who said the records should be released.
But perhaps most interestingly, especially given the current speculation regarding Clinton's health, Democrats appear to be nearly equally divided when it comes to the issue of a candidate’s medical records. While 50 percent of Democratic respondents said they think a candidate’s medical records should be kept private, a full 47 percent disagreed, saying the records should be released to the public.
Gallup also noted that 92 percent of all respondents said the health of a presidential candidate is at least “somewhat important,” with 61 percent saying it was a “very important” factor.
Divided among the two major party candidates themselves, 75 percent of respondents told Gallup they believed Donald Trump was physically healthy enough to serve as president, while 62 percent said they thought the same is true of Clinton.