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HEADLINES: America’s Seniors Are Turning on Trump Over His Botched Coronavirus Response and Failure to Keep Them Safe During the Crisis

Older Americans have suffered for years under President Trump’s health care agenda and his disastrous coronavirus response effort has put them at grave risk during this public health crisis. Four out of five coronavirus deaths have been Americans over 65. From the start President Trump has downplayed the coronavirus crisis, refused to listen to experts and failed to provide adequate testing and personal protective equipment, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of older Americans. As news reports made clear this week, Trump’s failure of leadership on coronavirus is hurting him with this critical block of voters, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

NBC News: Trump Finds Himself Playing Campaign Defense With Core Elements Of His Base. “Trump’s weakening appeal with seniors following his response to the coronavirus is hurting him particularly hard in Florida, where 21 percent of voters are 65 and older. In 2016, Trump won the senior vote in the state by 17 points over Hillary Clinton, but he leads Biden among that group by just 4 points, according to a Florida Atlantic University poll this month. In a separate survey, Biden held a 10-point lead over Trump among seniors, according to an April poll of Floridians by Quinnipiac University.” [NBC News, 5/27/20

Philadelphia Inquirer: Some Pa. Seniors Are Turning On Trump. That Could Be A Problem For His Reelection. “Trump, who needs to win states like Pennsylvania and hopes to hold onto supporters like Banion, may have a lurking problem. National polling averages show he’s in a relative dead heat with Joe Biden among voters over 65, a group he won by 10 points in 2016. In recent polling of Pennsylvania voters, Trump comes up a few points short of Biden with voters over 45, according to an April Fox poll.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/26/20

  • Chris Borick, Pollster At Muhlenberg College In Allentown, Said “Seniors Have Felt The Wrath Of This Pandemic More Than Any Other Age Cohort.” “‘Seniors have felt the wrath of this pandemic more than any other age cohort’ said Chris Borick, a pollster at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. ‘By numbers and health effects, it’s been devastating. The concern levels we’ve seen, when we’ve polled, are highest among seniors, and that, of course, could be bleeding into their appraisal of the president.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/26/20

Washington Post: In Crucial Florida, Some Senior Voters Cast A Skeptical Eye Toward Trump’s Reelection. “Yet for months, Biden has been more popular than Trump with seniors. A national poll of registered voters released by Quinnipiac University last week shows Biden leading by 10 points among voters over 65. A Quinnipiac poll in late April found 52 percent of Florida seniors supporting Biden to 42 percent for Trump, while a Fox News poll around the same time found Biden narrowly ahead.” [Washington Post, 5/25/20

  • “The Skepticism Toward The President Among Some Seniors Comes As Their Lives Have Been Drastically Altered By The Coronavirus, Which Has Swept Through Nursing Homes And Retirement Communities Across The County.” “The skepticism toward the president among some seniors comes as their lives have been drastically altered by the coronavirus, which has swept through nursing homes and retirement communities across the country. In Florida, more than 80 percent of the 2,000-plus people killed by the virus have been over age 65, according to an analysis by the Tampa Bay Times.” [Washington Post, 5/25/20]

Washington Post (Opinion): Trump’s Poor Handling Of The Crisis May Lose Him The GOP’s Most Reliable Voters. “With President Trump’s inept and erratic handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, he is rapidly losing support among the age group most vulnerable to its ravages — which is a big warning sign to Republicans as they look to the fall. Trump has also been showing slippage in support among the next-oldest cohort, those 55 and older. The shift has been showing up in a string of recent polls, reportedly including those that have been conducted by Trump’s own campaign.” [Washington Post, 5/25/20

Washington Post (Opinion): America’s Seniors, Sacrificed On The Altar Of Reopening. “Back in March, three-fifths of those 65 and over approved of the federal government’s response to the pandemic. Now a majority of that age group disapprove. Poll after poll has shown Trump in the past two months losing his lead among 65-and-over voters, a crucial demographic for Republicans, both nationally and in battleground states. The political handicapping site FiveThirtyEight observes that Trump won voters 65 and older by 13.3 percentage points in 2016. At the moment, Trump trails Biden by 1.0 points among such voters in an average of national polls — an enormous swing.” [Washington Post, 5/22/20

New York Times: Anxious About the Virus, Older Voters Grow More Wary of Trump. “For years, Republicans and Mr. Trump have relied on older Americans, the country’s largest voting bloc, to offset a huge advantage Democrats enjoy with younger voters. In critical states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, all of which have large older populations, Mr. Trump’s advantage with older voters has been essential to his political success; in 2016, he won voters over the age of 65 by seven percentage points, according to national exit poll data.But seniors are also the most vulnerable to the global pandemic, and the campaign’s internal polls, people familiar with the numbers said, show Mr. Trump’s support among voters over the age of 65 softening to a concerning degree, as he pushes to reopen the country’s economy at the expense of stopping a virus that puts them at the greatest risk.” [New York Times, 5/19/20

  • New York Times: By Rejecting To Open A Special Enrollment Period, The Trump Administration “Has Also Hampered Some Of Its Own Efforts To Appeal To Older Voters.” “But the administration has also hampered some of its own efforts to appeal to older voters. Mr. Trump recently rejected an expanded enrollment period for the newly uninsured, for instance.” [New York Times, 5/19/20

Al Jazeera: In Key Us State Of Florida, Trump Stumbles Among Senior Voters. ”Trump has virtually no path to victory without winning Florida, and older voters are key to that effort. Older voters make up an outsize share of the voting population in the state, where Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by just over 1 percentage point in 2016. Trump carried voters 65 and older in the state by 9 percentage points, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. Some Republicans warn that could be tough for Trump to repeat as the public health and economic fallout of the pandemic deepens.” [Al Jazaeera, 5/15/20

The Hill (Opinion): Seniors Will Make Donald Trump A One-Term President. “Despite being a ‘senior citizen’ himself, many Americans in the president’s age group have recently soured on him, especially in light of his administration’s response to COVID-19. Back in mid-March, Americans over 65 years old ‘approved of Trump’s handling of the outbreak at a higher rate than any other age group,; according to Morning Consult. Just a month later, that specific COVID-19 response approval rating dropped 20 points and is now lower than any other age group, except for 18 to 29-year-olds. By a 6-to-1 margin in that same survey, older Americans say that government should prioritize the coronavirus health response and mitigation of the virus above the economic focus.” [The Hill, 5/26/20