After winning the senior vote by an estimated 17 points in 2016, Donald Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus and threat to Social Security is costing him support among this critical voting bloc in Florida.
Last week, AARP released a survey of Florida voters aged 50 and older indicating that 75% of them are concerned about cuts to Social Security due to the budget crisis and relief spending. Additionally, nearly 50% worry about being able to afford health care.
Florida’s seniors make up both a populous and high-turnout voting bloc, giving them tremendous influence in elections defined by razor-thin margins.
Politico: ‘He just lies’: Florida’s senior voters suddenly are in play By Matt Dixon | 9.28.20
- “Florida seniors, long an unflinching bloc of reliable GOP votes, are suddenly in play as President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus has his reelection campaign on the defensive.”
- “The pandemic and anxiety about possible cuts to entitlement programs have eroded the GOP’s once-solid advantage with the battleground state’s retirees, recent polls show, a demographic Republicans have won by double digits in recent presidential races.”
- “‘I really got sick of him when he did not wear a mask, and he took the control totally away from the governors. It was a very bad situation,’ said Joy Solomon, a 65-year-old from Boca Raton who voted for Trump in 2016 largely because that’s who her husband supported, but who has now turned against the president. ‘I want this place to come back to some sense of normalcy.’”
- “But that comfortable cushion with senior voters is growing thin this year. A September poll from AARP had Biden up one point with voters older than 65, within the survey’s margin of error.”
- “Trump carried the group by 17 points that year, according to exit polls, the same margin won by Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. John McCain won the senior vote by 8 points in 2008, and George W. Bush had a 4-point advantage in 2004.”
- “To break out, Biden has put more than $700,000 into a Florida ad highlighting Trump’s “planned cuts to Social Security.” The ad references an August executive order from Trump that would temporarily suspend the collection of payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. It’s Biden’s seventh senior-focused ad.”
- “The [Villages] region remains overwhelmingly Republican, but during the 2020 cycle Democrats have shown signs of life, putting together large parades of golf carts — the favored means of transportation — in support of Biden and building their ranks within The Villages Democratic clubs.”
- “‘For the longest time, Democrats would only whisper around this place. I’ve put a great deal of effort into trying to make us a bit louder,’ said Chris Stanley, head of The Villages Democratic Club. ‘What really helped me, and it’s kind of ironic, was Trump. It’s really been over the past four years where Democrats have become more visible.’”
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