While Donald Trump won the state of Florida in 2016 by a narrow margin, a large part of that win was among senior voters. But a new poll analysis by The Guardian shows that those voters that helped Trump win the battleground state have now turned on him.
“National opinion polls show the 74-year-old president is chasing a substantial deficit among seniors,” reporter Richard Luscombe explains, “and his standing with older voters in the Sunshine State appears equally grim, with less than a month until Election Day.”
Luscombe notes, “In 2016, Trump trounced Hillary Clinton in Florida by about 17 points among elderly voters, exit polls indicated. The state is considered critical for Trump’s path to victory in 2020, yet this time around, some polls of voters 65 and older suggest it could be a virtual tie between the Republican incumbent and his challenger Joe Biden — while others give the Democrat an even healthier advantage.”
Charles Zelden, a history professor at Nova Southeastern University, told The Guardian that although Trump still enjoys a lot of support at a Florida retirement community like The Villages, his support among Florida seniors isn’t what it was in 2016. Zelden observed, “You go to places like The Villages, and mostly, they’re going to vote for Trump. But it’s gone from most to mostly. That additional 10 to 20% may be enough for Biden to win the I-4 corridor. You win the I-4 corridor, you win Florida. You win Florida, effectively Biden has won the election”
Polls are showing Biden ahead of Trump among senior voters.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month found that nationally, Trump is trailing Biden by 27% among seniors. A recent New York Times/Siena poll found Trump trailing Biden by 11% among Florida voters who are 65 or older; other Florida polls, however, have shown the race to be much closer among senior voters.
According to Chris Stanley, president of the Democratic Club of The Villages, older Biden supporters in Florida are opposing Trump for many reasons.
“They’re turned off by him,” Stanley told The Guardian. “They’re concerned for their Medicare, their social security, of course. But they can’t stand the hate, the vitriol. They’re considering Biden because of the way Trump behaves.”