A new poll, from a Democratic polling group, shows the same scenario heading into 2014.
Just 28 percent of voters 65 and older had a favorable view of the Republican Party in a national survey conducted last month by the Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, versus 40 percent who had a positive view of the Democrats. That’s a reversal from a poll Greenberg conducted in early 2011, when 43 percent of seniors saw Republicans favorably and 37 percent saw Democrats that way.
“It is now strikingly clear that [seniors] have turned sharply against the GOP,” Erica Seifert, a senior associate at Greenberg’s firm, wrote on the company’s website this week. “We have seen other voters pull back from the GOP, but among no group has this shift been as sharp as it is among senior citizens.”
And yet, seniors still say they will vote Republican. For now.
More seniors still said they plan to vote Republican than Democrat in 2014, 46 percent to 41 percent. But that 5-point margin is down from the 21-point margin seniors gave the GOP in 2010, according to exit polls. In 2012, voters 65 and over were Mitt Romney’s strongest age group, favoring the GOP nominee by 12 points. (Romney outpolled his two GOP nominee predecessors, John McCain and the 2004 campaign of George W. Bush, who both won seniors by 8 points.)
The shift is particularly significant, Seifert noted, because seniors are the most reliable voters in the electorate — and the most likely to turn out in the presidential off-year of 2014.
And 2016 is just around the corner…