By Henry Decker

Democracy Corps: Seniors Could Swing 2014 Midterms

October 30, 2013 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 47 Comments A+ / A-
Democracy Corps: Seniors Could Swing 2014 Midterms

Could seniors abandon the Republican Party?

Erica Seifert first raised the question in The Carville-Greenberg Memo in August, after Democracy Corps’ polling found that, by several metrics, the GOP’s standing among voters over 65 had plummeted since the 2010 midterms. Additionally, Democracy Corps found that overwhelming majorities of seniors wanted to protect Medicare benefits and premiums, raise pay for working women, and cut subsidies to big business in order to invest in education, infrastructure, and technology, among many other policies that are anathema to Republican politicians.

“The more seniors hear from Republicans on these and other issues, the more we can expect the GOP’s advantage among this important group to decline,” Seifert wrote at the time. Three months later, it appears that she was correct.

On Wednesday, Democracy Corps will release its latest battleground poll, comprised of the 49 most competitive Republican districts and the 24 most competitive Democratic seats. And the GOP’s performance among seniors should terrify Republicans:

In the Republican battleground, the vote is tied among seniors and the Democratic candidate has gained 5 points among this group since June. In the Democratic battleground, Democratic incumbents lead by 14 points among seniors and by 9 points (48 percent to 39 percent) among white seniors.

This is not unique to the battleground. It reflects the results we have seen in all Democracy Corps’ national polls this year. In the latest national poll conducted with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, a Republican candidate for Congress leads by just 6 points (49 percent to 43 percent) among seniors, well below the GOP’s 21 point margin in the 2010 midterms and 12 point margin in the 2012 elections.

With seniors some of the most immediate beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama no longer on the ballot, and with Republicans seeking to make Medicare and Medicaid cuts, it is possible seniors are moving to a new place.

It’s almost impossible to overstate the damage that this trend could do to the GOP. Having completely disregarded the Republican National Committee’s warning that the party must broaden its appeal to win future elections, Republicans have instead left themselves hugely reliant on their aging, white base. If voters over 65 start voting Democratic in large numbers, then the GOP will find itself at serious risk of losing its once-ironclad majority.

Photo: longislandwins via Flickr

Democracy Corps: Seniors Could Swing 2014 Midterms Reviewed by on . Could seniors abandon the Republican Party? Erica Seifert first raised the question in The Carville-Greenberg Memo in August, after Democracy Corps' polling fou Could seniors abandon the Republican Party? Erica Seifert first raised the question in The Carville-Greenberg Memo in August, after Democracy Corps' polling fou Rating:

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Comments

  • Dominick Vila

    The GOP is likely to pay dearly for their determination to reduce spending on the backs of seniors and students, while protecting the interests of the wealthiest. Their efforts to privatize Social Security and dismantle MEDICARE are political poison among senior citizens and those approaching retirement.
    The GOP managed to confuse seniors in 2012 by saying that President Obama had taken over $700B in MEDICARE benefits away from seniors. Now that we know that RX costs have actually gone down and that our MEDICARE benefits have not changed, the predictable reaction is anger at being cynically deceived by those who continue to advocate the dismantling and replacement of the social programs that millions of senior citizens depend on for sustenance and medical care.
    The same goes for all the bright students that have to choose between working at a fast food or going to college because they don’t have the financial means to pay for higher education. The GOP insistence to shut down the Department of Education may be welcomed in a Tea Party meeting, it is not among those who have to opt between becoming productive and prosperous citizens and having menial jobs the rest of their lives.

    • hollyhock

      And seniors can remember when the ethos of this country was to help people (roughly from FDR thru LBJ), not to demean them. It’s quite obvious which party is which, now.

    • mandinka

      Fortunately seniors aren’t as crass as you think. They realize that spending their children’s inheritance isn’t a family value

      • Dominick Vila

        That is why most seniors support the man who has reduced the size of government by over 700,000 civil servants, has helped cut the Federal government deficit in half, has managed to reduce the need to raise the national debt ceiling from 18 times in the Reagan era down to twice, ended the unfunded crusade in Iraq and is bringing the war in Afghanistan down to a end.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Seeing as how the Republican Party has abandoned the Seniors and Veterans, it is not inconceivable that these two groups could abandon the Republican Party.

    • 4sanity4all

      People currently in the service tend to be pretty conservative, and since they are mostly out of the country, they have a different take on the news that they get. I think that veterans, on the other hand, are here in the U.S., and they see how they are losing ground because of Republican obstructionism. Republicans wave the flag a LOT, but when it come to funding bills to help veterans, they are ‘missing in action’.

  • itsfun

    I may lose my Doctor because of the reduced benifits in Medicare. The President has lied to us about fast and furious, Benghazi, Fort Hood, Obamacare. We were told “if we like our current plan, we can keep it period. If we like our doctor, we can keep our doctor period. We are finding the result of this is millions of Americans losing their insurance. Who knows with lies we have been told about the IRS, spying on Americans, etc.
    Guess how this senior will vote!

    • TZToronto

      I live in Canada–universal health care, government funded. I go to any doctor I want, and I get treatment whenever I need it–no co-pays, no deductibles. If you want what I have, vote the Republicans out. And stop listening to Fox News!

      • itsfun

        The Republicans did not write this plan- the Liberals did. I don’t want what you have. I am satisfied with what I currently have. People like you believe you have right to tell me what I can have. You DON’T.

        • Charles Winter

          No, it’s a Republican plan, developed by the Heritage Foundation. Very similar to the plan that Nixon proposed.

        • concerned Grandma

          Sounds like “I GOT MINE!” Whatever happened to the credo “freedom isn’t free” ?

        • elw

          Wait didn’t you complain about your Medicare in your first post. Oh that’s right, you get to change the story as it suits you.

        • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

          The other political element didn’t write the plan because their tiny collective minds couldn’t conceive of one.

    • Gordon E.

      Wait till the GOP aka Ryan advocates vouches for Medicare and more changes to Social Security. As for those lies you are talking about – who gave you that information – oh, that’s right, the GOP/Tea Party. Those are the same one that voted to default on our debt – that would make us a second rate country. Where are you planning on moving to. Oh, I can’t help but comment on the spying on Americans – why in the world would any Government want to spy on you? What a joke – how else can we fight terrorism.

      • itsfun

        Obama has made us a second rate country. Have you not seen how much money has been removed from the medicare budget? You show how much you don’t know when you say people voted to default on our debt. That could not happen. The money was there to pay our debt, and would have done so. The House had a budget proposal that covered every bill the US has and also budgeted money for our current programs, except for the Obamacare tax. Harry Reid and Obama said they would not agree to anything that didn’t have Obamacare tax money in it. Since the Supreme Court has said the Obamacare is a tax, why do we have to fund a tax? We don’t fund the gas tax, income tax, property tax, etc.

      • plc97477

        Maybe someone in government needs a good night sleep and needs something to bore them asleep. Better than counting sheep.

    • elw

      That’s strange I have Medicare as well and my benefit are actually better and I have had the same doctor for years. You do realize that ACA has nothing to do with Medicare? Or is that fact that you get Medicare another one of your made up stories?

    • Landsende

      If you are losing your doctor it is because he didn’t sign a contract with your insurance company. You can ask him who he is contracted with and change to that insurance company. Rather than blaming the President do a little homework. I also have Medicare and my benefits have not changed so maybe it’s your insurance company that’s to blame. I notice you blame the President for fast and furious, Benghazi, Fort Hood and Obamacare. I’m surprised you didn’t blame the drought and hurricane Sandy on him also. Oh wait, those are natural disasters that are causing taxpayers billions of dollars because teapublicans deny climate change and refuse to pass legislation that would help to reverse it because it would affect their big money donors like the Koch brothers.

      • itsfun

        The health care plan did cause me to lose my doctor. He won’t accept the mere pittance the government is allowing him to charge. The President has lied to us from day one. He knew we wouldn’t be able to keep our current plans and doctors, but still lied during his last campaign. The documents have been discovered proving this and have been on the news shows. He is responsible for Benghazi, and has lied about it. He lied about the IRS scandals. Do you really believe the president of the united states only finds out about these things by reading the newspaper?
        Do you really believe he knew nothing about his signature program, the program that is his legacy? I spend over 30 years in the IT business. Any and all large projects had a project manager, All project teams had daily status meetings, management had weekly project status meetings. When problems were coming up, resources were allocated to fix problems right then and their. Weekly meetings were held with our customers. Sometimes we had customers on site overlooking the project and making sure the project was on schedule. Now I am suppose to believe the US did not do this for a project costing millions of dollars of tax payer money. We have been lied to about every problem in this country for the last 5 years. We are spying on world leaders. Obama said he will change how the world feels about us, he has, not even our friends hate us and want answers.

      • plc97477

        Someone on the right (not the sanest person, if there is one) said Obama has a machine that can make large storms so it is his fault

    • akindependent

      I’m guessing you will vote exactly the way Fox and Limbaugh tell you to, since that’s obviously where you get your “news.”

      • itsfun

        nope, I don’t watch Fox or listen to Limbaugh. I usually watch CNN

    • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

      Oh, we’re so worried about your vote!!

  • tax payer

    The ER is the place to go and they have to treat you no matter what or sue.

    • Bill Thompson

      You speak of 1986 legislation implemented by Ronald Reagan. The law is called the emergency medical treatment and active labor act of 1986 also called the law that changed everything. It says that nobody can be turned away from the emergency room. It was a response to a practice called dumping. Before the law people would show up at emergency rooms not have insurance and be sent away in a taxicab to some hospital that would take them, knife wounds included, women in active labor included. It said if you were a US citizen, a legal immigrant or illegal immigrant you could not be denied service at the emergency room. Please find the link below regarding this legislation.

      http://www.hhnmag.com/hhnmag/HHNDaily/HHNDailyDisplay.dhtml?id=4770007463

    • akindependent

      Know anyone who has gotten chemotherapy for cancer at an emergency room? A heart transplant? Kidney dialysis?

      • tax payer

        Minor Cuts and the Flu even broken bones is why most people go to a ER since they know they’ll never be chased out the door. Chemotherapy for Cancer, Heart transplant or Dialysis is not what they are there for because they have Programs to help you in those situations.

  • Jack Ragan

    As aa 92 year old, guess that makes me a senior, I changed my party affiliation 3 year ago

    • mandinka

      Yeah, keep taking money out of MY wallet!

      • 4sanity4all

        Are you implying that seniors take money out of your wallet? How? They paid for their Social Security and Medicare, they are living off of pensions that they earned, and they are living in homes they paid off years ago. Although they get a discount, they are still paying property taxes, and every time they shop, they pay sales tax. So how, exactly, does that take any money out of YOUR pocket? Are you brainwashed into thinking that everyone is TAKING from you? Statistically, MOST Americans pay their own way, and fraud in the food stamp program is only 1% of the funds disbursed. When you weren’t paying attention, the ‘big government’ you hate so much has been cleaning up fraud and waste, and reducing the deficit. So, get some facts and stop being so hateful. And since Jack Ragan’s avatar has him in uniform, he fought to keep you safe, so show some respect!

        • plc97477

          I have come to the opinion that most repugs are very paranoid, seeing scary things every where.

      • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

        Is that your only concern in life—that someone is taking money out of your pocket? Stop exalting your precious and saintly wallet to God-Hood.

    • plc97477

      Welcome to the party of the sane.

  • howa4x

    The tea party rode the wave of discontentment like a master surfer, but that wave already hit shore. They have mistaken that discontentment to think that seniors would want to cut their own benefits, and if they step out as the party holding everyone hostage again over the benefits of seniors, even the most devout knucklehead senior would turn against them. Already seniors have seen how this party treats the most vulnerable in our society, children. They have witnessed the cold hearted way that republicans carved away modest food benefits to the lower wage workers families, in favor of farm subsidies to agro- business including some of their own members. The seniors know that this does not bode well for them is the next fight over their benefits. Already the familiar cries of privatization are being heard in the republican caucus and that the need for that or other cuts must be made. Once tea party hero’s like Ted Cruz or that idiot Bachmann start popping off about entitlements seniors will get nervous. If that group bolts the party then there will be no real constituency left in the republican coalition except extreme elements like the tea party and evangelicals who don’t mix well with big business. All the democrats have to do is stay silent and let the tea party do all the talking. We’ve already seen how that works out.

    • akindependent

      But Democrats are not staying silent. The President and Patty Murphy are making it clear that they are willing to trade cuts to SS and Medicare for revenue. They are going to trade away the opportunity to win over the senior vote.

  • elw

    Of course the Republicans will ignore this poll because it comes from a polling group that leans left. Much like they did in the 2012 election they will rely on their own pollsters who will show them in the lead and keep doing the same things that have turned so many people off. They just cannot help themselves, nor do they learn from their mistakes which exactly why they are not fit to lead this Country or any country.

  • Susan Love

    My mother and I are both seniors and we both went to the other side. I have been voting Democrat for years, she for the last few. Both of us were registered Republicans. Now we are registered Democrats. Looks like the article is right on target. Their attitude that we feel entitled? Yes, we do. I am still working. I have been working and paying into SS for 45 years. By the time I retire it will be 53 years. I paid for these and I expect them to be there when I need them. And if that is feeling entitled per the GOP then so be it.

  • Allan Richardson

    The GOP may have anticipated this in requiring new ID cards for voting … NEW cards that require a trip IN PERSON to a state government office, require a BIRTH CERTIFICATE for people who have voted for many years without one, because their births were not officially recorded, or the records were lost in a courthouse fire many years ago, in order to get the new cards, all requirements that work against the poor AND seniors in nursing facilities, even if they are not poor.

  • akindependent

    Unfortunately, the Democrats are going to blow this historical opportunity with the President’s agreement to cut Social Security and Medicare, and the Democratic members of Congress’ willingness to go along. As usual, Democrats will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • mandinka

    Seniors take the biggest chunk of the taxpayers money with all their ailments. If they are over 70, then just put them out of their pain, as well as the pain from my wallet. Dr Kevorkian tried to make good on this.

    • homeplate2

      sure hope you die young with such a sorry attitude, maybe we should just go ahead and put you out of your misery now before you become a drain on societry!

      • plc97477

        Too late he already is.

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  • candideinnc

    I don’t understand the comment in the article that seniors are beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act. Seniors are in the Medicare plan and are not eligible for the ACA. What do they mean there?

    • 4sanity4all

      I am a senior who is no longer working and not covered by a pension. I am too young for Medicare, and I pay for my own insurance. It covers nothing, so the ACA policy I will soon have will cost me less and provide much more. Maybe they were referring to persons, like myself, who are very happy that ACA will bridge us over until we can be on Medicare? Our age group probably has the most pre-existing conditions that were not covered.

      • candideinnc

        I always thought of senior status as beginning at 65. I did have really high insurance costs in my late 50s and early 60s, too, which the ACA could have helped alleviate. So if you want to go with the label “senior” at that stage, I guess it makes sense.

  • CherokeeNative

    True Republicans underestimate the dominionist influence that has overtaken the party in U.S. Congress and no longer represents what the GOP used to stand for. Dominionism is about the loss of choices. Battles are underway to take away our choices from how we conceive children to how we die. In the words of the Christian Coalition field director, Bill Thomson, the “leftist” foes should be destroyed: “You’re going to run over them. Get around them, run over the top of them, destroy them – whatever you need to do so that God’s word is the word that is being practiced in Congress, town halls and state legislatures. That’s your job.”

    Dominionists have lost their hold on the White House, so they have turned their focus towards Congress and the State legislatures. Now, conservatives are ANGRY! Republicans are OUTRAGED! The supposedly “grassroots” Tea Party is FURIOUS! Why? GAY MARRIAGE and ABORTION and SHARIA LAW!!! Just as in 2004, a flailing economy and two wars (and two half-wars) just aren’t as important as stopping these supposed engines of social destruction. Yes, these issues took a back seat to the economy for the 2010 elections but what did the newly triumphant GOP House majority tackle once it took power? Did they immediately focus on the economy and create millions of jobs? No. They attacked gay and reproductive rights and held hearings on encroaching Sharia. They are hell bent on destroying Social Security and Medicaid for the elderly.

    We need to stop using terms such as “Christian,” “conservative” and most of all “moral,” and start calling the dominionist movement what it is. Chip Berlet and Margaret Quigley, senior analysts at Political Research Associates, suggest the term “theocratic right:” The predominantly Christian leadership envisions a religiously-based authoritarian society; therefore we prefer to describe this movement as the “theocratic right.”

    There IS a method to the madness of the GOP. It is not just conservative politics that are driving us to ruin, but a concerted effort from a group of deeply disturbed fanatics. Will they succeed in instituting Biblical law? Of course not, but they will do incalculable damage in the meantime. They will squander billions of dollars in tax payer money and resources and ruin the lives of millions with their radical agenda. For that alone, they need to be understood and stopped.

    People need to educate themselves NOW. You can start here: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/02/27/christian-dominionism/

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