Senior voters, who comprise one of the largest voting blocs in the country, are supporting President Donald Trump at far lower rates in critical battlegrounds than four years ago, according to a slew of recent polls.
In 2016, Trump’s victories in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were clinched by his support from voters 65+, winning them by one, four and 10 points, respectively. He ultimately won each state by less than 1%.
Now, however, polls show Trump trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden among senior voters in all three states. In Wisconsin, an NBC News poll shows Biden leading among senior voters by 20 points, and in Michigan, a Detroit News poll shows Biden up among the demographic by 30 points, leading 59-29.
In Pennsylvania, a New York Times poll shows Trump trailing among the group 53-42. (RELATED: Biden Pulling Ahead In Critical Midwestern Battlegrounds, Polls Show)
The usual polling caveats apply, but Biden’s double-digit leads in these CNN and NBC/WSJ polls are powered in part by Trump’s decline with senior voters. Biden leads Trump with seniors by 27 points in the NBC poll, and by 22 points in the CNN poll. https://t.co/8N11XMFc0l
— Ella Nilsen (@ella_nilsen) October 6, 2020
“This is a five-alarm fire for the president’s campaign, if true,” tweeted NBC reporter Sahil Kapur in response to the Detroit News poll.
Trump’s standing among senior voters has also slipped in the Sun Belt, polls have shown. In Arizona, voters 65+ backed Trump by 13 points in 2016, helping him win the state by over three points. Now, however, Biden leads among the group by one point, according to a New York Times poll, and leads Trump in the state by an average of 4.4 points, according to FiveThirtyEight.
In Florida, where retirees make up a disproportionately large share of the electorate, Trump won voters 65+ by 17 points in 2016 in route to his approximately one point victory over Clinton. Biden, who has a 3.6 point lead over Trump in the state, leads among senior voters 53-42, according to a New York Times poll.
“Trump’s recent remarks made Liz Cillo, a 72-year-old retiree from St. Petersburg, laugh bitterly. “We’re dispensable. We’re old. I feel as though he’s never showed any empathy or compassion toward us.”” https://t.co/AT0ycLb7FI
— Democracy for America (@DFAaction) September 27, 2020
If Trump were to lose senior voters to Biden, he would become the first Republican to do so since George W. Bush in 2000, Newsweek reported. John McCain won among senior voters 53-45 in 2008, and Sen. Mitt Romney won the group 56-44 in 2012, exit polls show.
Trump’s deficits among older voters are extremely concerning, analysts say, given the narrow margins by which he won the states four years ago and given Biden’s consistent lead in each state’s polls.
Latest Quinnipiac poll of Maine has Biden up 36 points (66-30) over Trump among senior voters. Clinton won them by 17 in 2016.
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) September 16, 2020
The president’s standing among senior voters has also suffered due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, driving a once-reliantly conservative group towards Biden, Politico reported, further complicating Trump’s path to victory in November as a result.
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