When all the dust is settled in the off-year elections, we may decide it was seniors who gave the Democrats their chance for a comeback. We have flagged this growing trend before, but the pattern is now too consistent to ignore. When Republicans swept Democrats in the 2010 off-year elections, they won seniors by 21 points. Repeat, 21 points. They lost white seniors by 24 points. Just this past November, Republicans won seniors by 12 points in the vote for Congress.
We will be releasing on Wednesday our congressional battleground poll – in the 49 most competitive Republican districts and 24 most competitive Democratic seats. When we do, pay attention to the seniors. 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 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 and 12-point margin in 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.