Why Old Voters Love Joe Biden


Life is becoming stressful in Florida’s largest retirement community.

The village, home to more than 100,000 Americans aged 55 and over, is the base of President Donald Trump and the GOP in a major swing state. But recently, Flags for former Vice President Joe Biden are flying for Trump. Democratic retirees in the villages began organizing a rival golf cart parade with homemade signs that said “end the Trumpdemic”, and some wore Biden / Harris T-shirts or hats to do their weekly shopping at the pubs. Point made. Organizers told Vox that the roadside rally on Labor Day weekend attracted more than 80 people, twice the size of any previous.

It’s a “statement that we exist,” said 60-year-old resident and Biden supporter Sarah Nee Branske, “What I’m seeing here is more Biden signs on our lawn, our golf carts.”

People perform Biden, a supporter close to the village retirement community in Wildwood, Florida.
Courtesy of Mike Confee

This is not a closed event; Polls show that Biden is showing surprising strength among older voters across the country. Several national and state elections have found Biden running ahead of Trump with points 65 and older, including a recent Quinnipiac University poll from Florida.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said in a recent interview, “I think it’s remarkable because this is a segment of the voter in which we haven’t done more than a few years.”

The last Democratic candidate to do well with older voters was Al Gore, who in 2000 won voters aged 50–64 and over 65 voters. Old voter Young people are far more credible than others, so it matters whether Democrats are gaining ground with the group. They were decisive for Trump’s 2016 election; He won the seniors by 7 percentage points, and the white margins going to higher margins. A few months ago, Biden’s campaign advisers told Vox that they also consider cutting Trump’s margin, which is a victory for seniors.

“It’s a group that stayed away from Trump even before the epidemic, but the epidemic has strengthened them against Trump in a way,” Monmouth University voting director Patrick Murray told Vox. Murray said that while older voters have been with Biden for a long time, “it’s the old white voters where we’re seeing the swing.”

Why are old voters after such a demand

Older voters are a highly prized demographic in elections for one big reason: they exit reliably.

“Because they turn out at such high rates, because they are more likely to vote by mail in this election, and because they are such a large proportion of the electorate,” said longtime Democratic pollster and strategist Celinda Lake.

In the 2016 election, older voters voted, compared to about 71 percent of voters aged 65 and over, and 46 percent of voters aged 18 to 29. This trend occurred in mid-2018 (even though youth voter participation jumped significantly from the 2014 mark). With 66 percent of voters aged 65 and over, compared to 35.6 percent of voters aged 18 to 29.

Where old voters live is also important. They are an important constituency in the most important states in the 2020 battleground, but they are significant given the huge concentration of retirees, particularly in Florida and Arizona. Incidentally, these two states have been particularly hard hit by the Kovid-19 outbreaks in summer.

“One of the features of the battlefield is how old it is, it’s not just Florida,” said US House Editor Dave Wassman in the Cook Political Report. “Arizona also has an extraordinary percentage of seniors.”

Golf carts go on the road in the Village Retirement Community on October 4, 2016.
Rhona Wise / AFP via Getty Image

National and Battleground State polls look alike, with Biden stronger than the 65 and older set. Some surveys show that trend to women: In a recent CNN poll, Biden found a 20-point lead among women. If there is a similar edge between women by November, this could be the largest gender difference between the two candidates in decades.

Famous Iowa pollster Ann Selzer, who recently released a national general election poll with Grinnell College, told Vox, “There is a gender gap, which feeds everything.”

In Selzer’s national poll with Ginnel College, from August 26 to 30, Trump led Biden by more than 65 percent with 17 percentage points (56 to 39 percent). Biden gained a six-point lead over Trump with more than 65 women, earning 49 percent support compared to Trump’s 43 percent.

Other voters think the gender gap with older voters is not as strong, as many of these voters are concerned about the same set of issues: protecting government programs such as Social Security and Medicare and reducing the cost of prescription drugs . “Along with other voters, you’ll see that women are concerned about health and education, and men are worried about jobs,” Lake said. “If you’re a senior, you’re worried about the same thing.”

Some battlefield elections also reflect this dynamic. Two recent Quinnipiac University polls showed Biden leading Trump with more than 65 voters in Florida with 10 percentage points, and Pennsylvania with 14 percent points with the same cohort. Morena’s late August Monmouth University poll of the University of Pennsylvania also found Biden chief Trump in double digits with voters 65 and older.

Numbers are tight in Arizona, a traditionally Republican state that is changing the bluer due to its diverse population and changing suburbs. Like Florida, Arizona is also home to many retirees. The state went for 3.5 points by Trump in 2016, but Democrats had a chance to flip this state at the presidential level, as well as a major Senate seat.

A recent Arizona Fox News poll found Biden and Trump over the age of 45 with registered voters. Trump led 4 points among men over 45, while Biden led by 3 points among women over 45.

“Biden always had an advantage with seniors, and seniors always had a problem with Trump, but Kovid was really the catalyst with that,” Lake said.

Why Seniors are switching to Biden

There are a number of possible reasons, from the old voter exodus to Biden, and not all of them can be as long as the coronovirus epidemic.

Biden was voting well with the group before the epidemic. While it is true that seniors are particularly vulnerable to novel coronaviruses, political science experts point out that much is at play.

Older voters have seen more presidents in action. Elections can tell us that voters over 65 do not like Trump’s extremely unorthodox presidency, marked by tweetstorm’s daily barrage and increased political polarization.

“There is too much shaking in Washington due to being away from Trump,” Murray said.

Joe Biden congratulates a voter during a campaign event on February 4 in Concord, New Hampshire.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Trump is not getting much traction from portraying the more liberal Biden – who is 77 and has a decade-long track record in public service – as a vessel for the “radical left”, experts say.

Although Biden’s history may have provided fodder for the Trump campaign and political pundits alike, older voters don’t care too much about it.

“Biden troubles with an era before pre-sorting politicians,” Weisman told Vox. “The fact that he does a lot of gaffes makes him human in the eyes of a lot of old voters who remember a time when politicians could say what they wanted to say.”

Any relationship seniors may feel with the former vice president, Biden is looking at domestic issues that elderly voters care about: protecting social security and Medicare, reducing prescription drug costs, and Establish a coordinated federal response to the Kovid-19 epidemic. The Biden campaign is also organizing older voters largely with senior phone banks, encouraging them to plan to vote.

Kovid-19 has also changed the lives of many seniors. Florida Democratic strategist Steve Shalley said that older voters can no longer “fly around the country to see their grandchildren.”

Village is a microcosm

Any resident of the villages that I recently thought of sitting in America’s largest retirement community or main county – Sutter County – will flip for Biden this year.

At the recent Biden support parade, 300 golf carts were still less than half the Trump group of villages. And some people are still afraid to display Biden signs for the backlash they got from their neighbors. The local newspaper recently listed an op-ed – “Reasons I’m Afraid of Living in the Villages” – of alleged harassment due to political beliefs, such as name-calling on social media, signs of stopped cars, torn campaigns , The red color fell on a passage.

“could it be worse. Someone had spilled the beer in their golf cart because they had a Biden sign, ”Bransek told me. “When we do our rallies every Saturday and Thursday, we get a lot of fingers. When I see a 90-year-old woman giving a finger because I’m wearing a Biden shirt, I’m sure she has children and grandchildren … What are we teaching our future? “

On October 3, 2019, people cheered in villages for an event for President Donald Trump.
Joe Rydal / Getty Images

But even if a flip is unlikely, locals say that democratic organizing in the region has never been stronger.

“It’s like night and day,” said Chris Stanley, president of the Villeges Democratic Club. “I have many people who are north of 75 who call me and say, ‘I’ve never been a volunteer before, but can I help them?” Most of our workforce is people who have engaged since 2016. “

The engaged volunteer base is trying to overturn other counties in Florida, including Pinellas County – an old county that covers the city of St. Petersburg and the surrounding suburbs where a recent poll led by Trump’s Biden dual Appeared in the numerals.

Scotland, a Democratic strategist who was Obama’s 2008 director of state of Florida, thinks that the state has five or six counties “truly for graves”. If Biden can hold an edge with older voters, Sheele feels the former Vice President could cut Trump’s margin in the I-4 corridor between Trump and Orlando, a decent night for Biden on Nov. 3 in Florida Will form.

“The key is not just scoring at places like Miami, Sarasota,” said Skelle. “Maybe a county that Biden should lose by 15 points – maybe he is down to seven or eight and there are a large number of indecisors.”

If Biden wins, Branssey says he hopes Republicans and Democrats in the villages can start speaking cordially to each other like they did before Trump was elected.

“Actually things have changed because of that, we really remember the earlier days,” Bransack said. “We are losing friends over this. My dream is that when Trump leaves, it will take a little time, but it’s all going to be disgusting and we can be friends and do stuff together. “


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