One of the most reliably Republican-voting demographic groups has been American seniors. In the 2012 general election, seniors favored the GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, by a 12% margin. In the 2008 general election seniors favored McCain over Obama by 8%. In the Tea Party GOP sweep of the 2010 midterm election, seniors voted for Republicans over Democrats by a whopping 21% margin.
For some reason, however, senior voters polled in July 2013 appear to be moving away from their traditional loyalties to the GOP.....
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.
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....
As Buffalo Springfield used to sing...."something's happening here." And what it is.....is becoming painfully clear....
Seniors' approval of the GOP-led House has dropped from 45 percent in early 2011 to 22 percent today. They have gone from identifying more as Republicans than Democrats by a 10-point margin to identifying more as Democrats than Republicans by a 6-point margin. Fifty-five percent say the GOP is too extreme, and 52 percent say it is "out of touch" and "dividing the country."
Despite the non-stop chanting by GOP officials and their corporate media servants.....seniors, by a majority, don't agree that it is President Obama who is "dividing the country." Seniors now believe it is Republican elected officials who not only are "dividing the country" but are also "out of touch."
On the primary domestic issues Congress has been discussing since last November's election.....a majority of seniors consider the Republican policy positions "extreme."
...seniors also took issue with the GOP on social concerns: slim majorities called the Republican Party "extreme" on aid to the poor (53 percent), immigration (53 percent), gay rights (52 percent), and gun violence (51 percent).
Yes, it has been embarrassing to watch Republicans calling for, and voting for, drastic cuts to food stamp recipients, the unemployed, the working poor, the sick and the uninsured in the midst of the fallout from the greatest recession in my lifetime.....but apparently, seniors are more than just embarrassed. They've seen enough.
The Atlantic piece focuses only on one senior poll....and one senior poll does not an election make. Having acknowledged that.....is it possible that the GOP is in the middle of losing yet another demographic voting block? I've been told.....although I disagree with the thinking....that as people grow older they should become more conservative. But if that is true.....and the GOP is the only national political party claiming dibs on conservative bragging rights.....why would "conservative" seniors be moving away from the only "conservative" political party?
Republicans, through gimmicky gerrymandering after the 2010 Census, believe that they have locked up control of at least the House until 2022. Which means that Republicans can, and will, continue obstructing any governance which is not scorched earth "extreme" regardless of how it damages the nation's future.
But if seniors are finally waking up to the extremism and out-of-touchness currently afflicting the GOP......is it possible for Democrats to regain full control of Congress much sooner than 2022?
Will fed-up geezer voters, those who have traditionally voted for Republicans, rise up at the ballot box to help save the country from the "extremists?"
One can hope.
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