Americans 65 And Up Now Have More Reason Than Ever To Turn On Biden

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Gage Klipper Commentary & Analysis Writer
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You might be surprised to learn that President Joe Biden does exceptionally well with America’s older voters. But as the lies around “Bidenomics” come crashing down, that advantage could be coming to an end.

When you think of the typical Democratic voter, baby boomers likely aren’t the first demographic to come to mind. This generation understands the value of hard work and experienced just how precarious freedom can be during the Cold War. Why would anyone forged in the golden era of American industry seek to throw it all away on the altar of liberal radicalism? More likely, you think of a millennial – the over-educated, under-appreciative blue-haired activist mad at everyone and everything. This is what the popular narrative would seem to suggest. (RELATED: Despite Massive ‘Bidenomics’ Push, Voters Still Don’t Trust Biden To Handle Economy)

However, the truth, as Politico pointed out earlier this year, is more complicated. While young voters have been uncharacteristically mobilized in the past several elections, Biden himself has a unique “old guy advantage with older voters.” In fact, he is “doing better than any Democrat since Al Gore” with voters over 65. With his favorability ratings higher among boomers than millennials, Politico argued that Biden’s age, despite commonly being viewed as a weakness, was actually helping him with voters of a similar vintage.

This was back in April – you might assume that given the onslaught of polling showing Americans deeply concerned about Biden’s age over the summer, the tide would have turned by now. You’d be wrong. The latest Marist poll released in early October showed 49 percent of Baby Boomers and 47 percent of the Silent Generation approve or strongly approve of Biden’s performance. Only 38 percent of Millennials/Gen Z felt the same way.

Older voters are sticking with Biden despite his influence-peddling scandals, questionable mental capacity, and foreign warmongering. But as Democratic sage James Carville once remarked, it’s the economy stupid! Older Americans are set to feel the pain of Bidenomics starting in 2024, and they might not be so keen on Biden by the time the election rolls around.

The Social Security Administration announced its annual cost of living adjustment on Thursday, reflecting a dismal figure for older Americans dependent on social security income. Social security benefits will increase by a modest 3.2 percent starting in 2024, far smaller than it’s been so far throughout Biden’s tenure. The increase for 2023 was a historical 8.7 percent, while the 2022 adjustment was a still sizable 5.9 percent. According to the agency’s fact sheet, this year’s increase will amount to approximately an extra $50 per month. An older couple, both receiving benefits will receive an average of $3,033, up from $2,939. A widow alone will receive $1,773 up from $1,718. Seniors living solely on a fixed income will see no relief from the ravages of Bidenomics next year.

Yet you wouldn’t know it from Democratic messaging on the economy. In speech after speech, Biden continues to tout the strength of his economic recovery citing macroeconomic indicators that don’t correlate to how average people are living day to day – his gaslighting on Bidenomics just isn’t going to cut it. For example, the administration frequently touts how Bidenomics is “working” because it brought down inflation. The problem with the administration’s inflation claims, however, is that they fail to account for the year-on-year changes. Sure, inflation came “down” to 3.7 percent in September 2023. But that means it’s still up from the whopping 8.2 percent in September 2022. (RELATED: Dems In Trouble: Americans See Through ‘Bidenomics’ Lies)

Anyone struggling last year is not going to find themselves much better off next year with an extra 50 bucks in their pockets. More than 17 million Americans age 65+ are economically insecure, with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level. The substantial cost of living adjustments over the past two years at least gave an impression that the “experts” at the helm were looking out for seniors’ interests. The meager adjustment for 2024 could make an already dire economic situation that much more alienating.

Yet the administration’s strategy appears to be to pretend everything is fine and hope no one notices. The problem is, people are noticing.

Polling shows that while college-educated voters are content with the economy, people living paycheck to paycheck are deeply disillusioned. In total, only 28 percent of voters in the latest NBC poll said they were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with the strength of the economy – the lowest figure in nearly a decade of the outlet’s polling. Nearly two-thirds of Americans over 65 believe inflation is a “very big problem,” according to a Pew survey – and that number is only likely to grow as the election creeps closer.

Given this, it’s no surprise that Republicans beat Democrats by 21 points on the economy, their “largest-ever lead,” according to the same NBC poll. Older Americans remain about evenly split on their approval of Biden. If even a fraction of that 21 percent shift materializes on election among seniors, Republicans look to be in pretty good shape.