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Trump Has a Senior Problem PDF Print E-mail
Elections, Elected Officials, Political Parties
Written by Priorities Wisconsin, Cassidy Geoghegan   
Friday, 01 May 2020 10:36

elderly-crowdTrump won 52% of voters age 65 and older nationally in 2016, but his disastrous mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic has made seniors increasingly concerned.


MADISON - Donald Trump loves to brag about his supposedly unbreakable hold on his base. But recent polling reveals that cracks may be forming in the president’s political foundation, due to a significant drop in support from one crucial constituency: voters over the age of 65.

Trump relied heavily on seniors’ support in 2016

Seniors were a key part of Trump’s coalition when he was elected four years ago. Exit polls show that he won 52% of voters age 65 and older nationally in 2016, compared to just 45% for Hillary Clinton.

While Trump enjoyed a narrow advantage among seniors in Wisconsin (49%) compared to other battleground states, it was still enough for Trump to pull off the victory that landed him in the Oval Office.

Given the razor-thin margins that decided Wisconsin (and thus, the presidency) in 2016, any collapse in support from this heretofore reliable bloc of high-turnout supporters would greatly endanger Trump’s reelection — and that’s why a slew of recent polls should be keeping his campaign team up at night.

Seniors are now abandoning Trump in droves

trump-covidAs Trump’s disastrous mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic continues, seniors are growing increasingly concerned for their health and safety, and with good reason.

Older Americans are at greater risk if they contract COVID-19 than any other age group, so the president’s misguided push to reopen the country without putting the proper testing and tracing protocols in place is a potentially life-threatening proposition. Unsurprisingly, public opinion polls have shown seniors’ support for Trump’s handling of the crisis cratering in recent weeks.

From Morning Consult:

By a nearly 6-to-1 margin, people 65 years old and older say it’s more important for the government to address the spread of coronavirus than it is to focus on the economy. And as President Donald Trump increasingly signals interest in prioritizing economic interests, America’s senior citizens are growing critical of his approach.

In mid-March, this group approved of Trump’s handling of the outbreak at a higher rate than any other age group, with a net approval of +19. A month later, that level of support has dropped 20 points and is now lower than that of any age group other than 18-29-year-olds.

Trump’s attacks on Social Security and Medicare make matters worse

It’s not just Trump’s failed leadership on the current pandemic that’s alienating seniors. He has also repeatedly proposed large cuts to Social Security and Medicare — and has even promised to cut them in the future, if reelected.

These positions are a non-starter with senior voters. In our most recent polling, nearly half of respondents 65 and older reported that these proposed cuts were their top concern about Trump after being exposed to a list of messages about his economic record.

Whether he’s putting their lives and livelihoods at risk with his incompetent pandemic response or his draconian cuts to essential retirement programs, it’s not hard to see why seniors are fed up with Donald Trump.

If you’d like to be connected to a senior who can speak to this, please let me know.

Best, 
Cassidy

 
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