Heading into November, President Donald Trump can definitely not count on cruising to re-election. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, polls indicate that Trump’s support among senior voters has been shrinking dramatically. One recent set of polling data from Morning Consult indicated that voters 65 years and older disapproved of Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus outbreak at a sharper rate than almost every other age group, excluding only individuals who are 18 through 29 years old. In that data, senior citizens’ approval of Trump plummeted by a stunning 20 percent from the previous edition of the polling. The New York Times outlines in a new report how lastingly that Trump has jeopardized his standing among seniors.
The publication notes:
‘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.’
In that same Morning Consult polling, “By a nearly 6-to-1 margin, people 65 years old and older say it’s more important for the government to address the spread of coronavirus than it is to focus on the economy,” the polling organization reports. News reports throughout the spread of the virus have indicated the unique threat that the disease seems to pose to older Americans, and the U.S. death toll is fast approaching 80,000. The toll will seemingly reach that point within days — and throughout the crisis, Trump has positioned himself to the exact opposite of many seniors, clearly prioritizing economic concerns right alongside if not higher than public health concerns.
Trump is consistently losing to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in polls on the national level, in swing states, and among specifically older voters. As the Times notes, “in recent polls [Biden] held a 10-point advantage over Mr. Trump among voters who are 65 and older,” and that’s not exactly an insignificant margin.
These older voters’ support for Biden could be crucial to pushing the Democratic contender over the edge. Democratic strategist Geoff Garin noted to the Times that “a durable change with older voters… could well cost Trump the election.”
Trump has consistently declined to take concerning aspects of the road ahead seriously. His incessant public commentary suggests that he thinks that he is doing great and that there’s nothing to be concerned about. He has routinely touted numbers like the television ratings for his Coronavirus-related press conferences and polls showing a significant number of Americans in support of his Coronavirus response, although those polls have dropped off significantly since the earlier stages of the pandemic as confirmed cases and deaths in the U.S. have continued to rise.