SeniorJournal.com - Daily News & Information for Senior Citizens and Baby Boomers

Front Page        Search         Contact Us         Advertise in Senior Journal



Senior Journal: Today's News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

More Senior Citizen News and Information Than Any Other Source - SeniorJournal.com

Ovarian Cancer Linked to Talcum Powder - Free Lawsuit Consultation - Talcum Powder Lawsuit Center (Paid. Adv.)

• Go to more on Politics for Senior Citizens or More Senior News on the Front Page

   

E-mail this page to a friend!

Senior Citizen Politics

Senior Citizens Were Only Age Group to Support Sen. McCain for President

Historically Democratic voters, senior citizens mysteriously favored McCain by wide margin

Nov. 5, 2008 – Data from exit polling in yesterday’s presidential election reveals that senior citizens – Americans age 65 and older – were the only age group to support the losing candidate, Sen. John McCann. And, it was by a sizable margin – 53% for McCain and only 45% for the winner, Sen. Barack Obama. It’s not easy to understand but it was clearly indicated in the polling that lead up to the election.

The Gallup Poll projected seniors were evenly split between the two candidates on October 26 – 45% each. Then suddenly, just two days before the election, McCain took a commanding lead in the Gallup Poll – 47% to just 42% for Obama.

 

Related Stories

 
 

Advocacy Group Claims Credit for Electing Candidates Opposed to Social Security Privatization

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare sets agenda for next Congress

Nov. 5, 2008


Senior Citizens Make Sudden Shift to McCain in Gallup Poll as Election Day Arrives

Pew Research finds seniors saying they are Democrats has declined since 2004

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Nov. 4, 2008


Oldest Americans Say Life Has Been Bad Last Five Years and Not Going to Get Much Better

Harris Poll finds more people believe their lives would be better under Obama than under McCain, but not senior citizens

Oct. 28, 2008


Last Generation to Attend Segregated Schools Getting More Comfortable with Obama

If race is an issue it is most probably among senior citizens; who say that most of their friends will be hesitant to support a black candidate

Oct. 20, 2008


Where Presidential Campaigns Stand on Senior Citizen Issues Found on Websites

Fairly distinct difference can be found in presentations by Obama and McCain campaigns

Oct. 21, 2008


Senior Citizens are Only Age Group Where a Majority Do Not Like Election Press Coverage

Seniors joined by Republicans and Men as groups rating presidential election press coverage low in Pew survey

Oct. 16, 2008


Poll Indicates Old Age is Bigger Burden than Being Black in Elections, But Seniors Disagree

Over half of adults say friends would hesitate to vote for person over 70; oldest adults say over 60% would hesitate to vote for black person

Sept. 25, 2008


Senior Citizens Send Puzzling Signals in Poll on Females' Ability to Lead the Nation

Seniors are least likely to say men have better leadership skills than women, among least likely to say U.S. ready for female leader

Sept. 4, 2008


Senior Citizens Most Adamant That Churches Should Not Make Political Endorsements

Pew study finds U.S. moving away from long held views that religious institutions should speak out on political matters

Aug. 25, 2008


Senior Citizens Most Adamant that There is Too Much Hostility, Partisanship in Washington

They say their contemporary, McCain, best to fix it; younger voters say it’s Obama

July 13, 2008


Senior Citizens Slightly Favor McCain in May Polling Despite Obama Bounce from April

Older Boomers most likely to support McCain after favoring Obama in April; Pew Research finds McCain's Negatives Mostly Political, Obama's More Personal

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SenorJournal.com

June 10, 2008


Senior Citizens Most Adamant Voter Age Group and They Want Hillary Clinton

Young people surging  to vote for Obama, older voters love Hillary

March 5, 2008


Age May Be Issue in Presidential General Election with Two of Oldest Candidates

Ronald Reagan holds crown for oldest, John F. Kennedy was youngest elected

Feb. 25, 2008


Read more on
> Politics for Senior Citizens
> Medicare
> Medicare Drug Program

 

Then, too, just before the election, the Pew Research Center released a study of political party preference that found the Democratic Part has made big gains since 2004. There was, however, one notable exception - “Only among voters age 65 and older has the percentage of voters identifying with the Democratic Party decreased slightly -- from 49% in 2004 to 47% now.”

The Pew analysis said, “This slight decline reflects the passing of members of the New Deal Generation -- who leaned overwhelmingly Democratic but who are mostly in their 90s now. In addition, voters who came of age politically in the Eisenhower administration, and are now in their late 60s, are closely divided in their party affiliation.”

But, the answer to why the seniors back McCain is probably more complicated than that.

Vote by Age

Age Group

Obama

McCain

Other/No Answer

18-29 (18%)

66%

32%

2%

30-44 (29%)

52%

46%

2%

45-64 (37%)

50%

49%

1%

65 or Older (16%)

45%

53%

2%

Vote by Age

Age Group

Obama

McCain

Other/No Answer

18-24 (10%)

66%

32%

2%

25-29 (8%)

66%

31%

3%

30-39 (18%)

54%

44%

2%

40-49 (21%)

49%

49%

2%

50-64 (27%)

50%

49%

1%

65 or Over (16%)

45%

53%

2%

Vote by Age and Race

Age Group

Obama

McCain

Other/NA

White 18-29 (11%)

54%

44%

2%

White 30-44 (20%)

41%

57%

2%

White 45-64 (30%)

42%

56%

2%

White 65 and Older (13%)

40%

58%

2%

Black 18-29 (3%)

95%

4%

1%

Black 30-44 (4%)

96%

4%

N/A

Black 45-64 (4%)

96%

3%

1%

Black 65 and Older (1%)

94%

6%

N/A

Latino 18-29 (3%)

76%

19%

5%

Latino 30-44 (3%)

63%

36%

1%

Latino 45-64 (2%)

58%

40%

2%

Latino 65 and Older (1%)

68%

30%

2%

All Others (5%)

64%

33%

3%

>> See Exit Poll Results at CNN

They had been voting solidly Democratic, until 2004.

Bill Clinton had a 12-point advantage with voters age 60 and over when he ran against George H.W. Bush. These older voters favored him by four points over Sen. Bob Dole.

The support for Democrats continued with Sen. Al Gore receiving 51% of the 60+ vote to George W. Bush’s 47%.

But, a crack appeared in the 2004 election, when Bush received support from 53% of the 60+ crowd to only 46% for Sen. John Kerry. It was closer for those 65 and older – 51% for Bush, 48% for Kerry. CBS and CNN pundits declared older voters won the election for Bush.

CBS decided the president's appeal to seniors in 2004 appeared to stem from his positions on social issues, not basic political issues.

Twenty-one percent of voters over 60 named moral values as the issue that mattered most in their vote decision. The seniors did not like gay marriage or unlimited abortion. Only 16 percent of seniors supported these issues.

Still, considering this long track record, it looked in the beginning, like senior citizens would support the Democrat in 2008.

One of the earliest documentations of trouble for Obama among senior voters was research released in June by the Pew Research Center. Even before the Democratic Primary was over, they had been polling head-to-head choices between Obama and McCain.

In April, McCain had a 44% to 40% lead over Obama with voters of all ages. But, with seniors, the lead was gigantic – 52% for McCain and just 42% for Obama.

By May, Obama had taken a slight lead among all voters – 47% to 44%. But, although the gap had narrowed, he still trailed McCain with senior citizens – 46% to 43%.

Story Update

Seniors in Southern States Skewed the Results

Dec. 15, 2008 - Further analysis of the voting pattern indicates the senior citizens in most of the nation did support Obama but those in the South were so heavily opposed that it distorted the over-all report, according to the New York Times.

These two surveys were clear evidence that senior citizens were not sharing the enthusiasm for Sen. Obama that was being expressed by younger voters.

Many assumed this was because senior citizens were so committed to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Seniors were the age group most in support of the New York senator as she battled Obama for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton received a commanding 57% to 37% majority on Super Tuesday among voters 60 and older. That was even more lopsided than Obama’s margin among the youngest voters – 57% to 41%.

There was exit polling on Super Tuesday but the Pew researchers could find no differences on the issues among the Democratic voters. Their only difference was their candidate choice.

There was more evidence that the seniors were not happy with Obama in the Gallup polling by age group. In July, only 29% of seniors favored Obama, compared to 45% for McClain.

The poll was reported weekly and showed a small but steady gain by Obama with these oldest voters. By the end of September, it was 47% for McCain and 43% for Obama.

On October 5, Gallup showed Obama going ahead by one point – 45% to 44%. That held the next week, too. Then, just when it looked like Obama might widen his lead, there was the sudden shift just two days before the election with the seniors swinging back into the McCain camp.

So, what happened? Why did these traditional Democratic voters jump to the Republican?

Was it race? These are the last Americans that went to segregated schools and lived in a segregated America. They are the only voters old enough to vividly remember the battle over the Civil Rights Act.

A Harris Poll in September asked them about race and, although most said it was not a factor in their decision, a large majority said they thought it was a problem for their friends. The people polled that were age 63 or older were most likely (61%) to say their friends would be reluctant to vote for the black candidate.

On the more basic issues, most of what we know about senior citizens and their politics, would indicate they should have backed the Democrat.

Most seniors, for example, strongly opposed the idea of private investment accounts as part of Social Security. It was a Republican idea backed by Sen. McCain.

Polls indicated years earlier, that the senior citizens were the first to turn against the Iraq War and to think it was a mistake. As everyone knows, McCain was a big supporter of the war and still does not think it was a mistake.

Maybe it was moral issues, as suggested for why they supported George Bush in 2004.

Again, Obama’s stand on moral issues seems to be closer to the seniors. He is strong on family values,  and opposes gay marriage. John McCain was married with children when he began an affair with his current wife – not exactly the type of family life seniors would endorse.

Maybe it was the age issue – or the reverse of the age issue. While some voters may have been concerned about McCain’s age, 72, senior citizens may have seen it differently. Just as millions of black voters rallied to support their fellow African-American, maybe seniors rallied in support of their fellow senior citizen.

There does not appear to be a clear answer.

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

 

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

    

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.