Worried Democrats courting elderly voters as midterm elections near

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Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) is no stranger to Greenspring Village, a gated retirement community in Springfield that is a frequent stop for local politicos. It leans Democratic, but that tilt is being tested in a year in which the party faces a perilous erosion of support from an age group that will probably play an outsize role in this year’s elections: senior citizens.

So Connolly came by again on Tuesday. He brought cake and diabetic-friendly cookies, and made a personal plea to supporters who showed up to clasp his hand and tell them he has their vote.

“Make sure your neighbors feel that way, too,” he told one couple, his hand on the woman’s shoulder.

The visit was part of a recent push by Democratic leaders to highlight their commitment to Social Security in tandem with the program’s 75th birthday — and also to try to seize on the issue as a way to regain their footing with seniors. Several Republicans have revived the idea of privatizing the federal entitlement program, an idea that met with deep resistance when President George W. Bush proposed it five years ago and that Democrats are looking to exploit this year.

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