Analysis: One massive motive why Biden is forward: Seniors

Biden campaign announces largest week of ad spending as November election nears



Biden is forward within the polls, regardless of dropping floor relative to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 exhibiting amongst historically Democratic Black and Hispanic voters.
One massive motive Biden has maintained his benefit over President Donald Trump is his unusually sturdy efficiency amongst voters aged 65 and older.

If the present polls maintain, Biden’s placing within the strongest efficiency for a Democrat amongst seniors in a era.

A have a look at the stay interview polls since August that meet Source’s requirements exhibits Biden with an eight level benefit with seniors. This lead has been constant for some time now. If we prolong our common to incorporate all information because the starting of summer season, Biden’s lead stays.

In 2016, Trump gained voters who at the moment are age 65 and older, based on an evaluation by The New York Times’ Nate Cohn. In the ultimate pre-election polls, he was up by three factors amongst registered voters and 4 factors amongst possible voters.

Of course, there was some generational substitute amongst seniors. Some members of this group have been below the age of 65 in 2016 and others who have been a part of it have handed away.

If you have a look at voters who have been seniors in 2016, no matter their age in 2020, Trump led by 5 factors amongst registered voters and 6 factors amongst possible voters within the closing pre-election polls.

In different phrases, it’s extremely clear that Biden is doing considerably higher amongst senior voters than Clinton did. He’s doing higher by double-digits, at the same time as his lead nationally is 5 factors or much less wider than Clinton’s have been within the closing polls of 2016.

The final Democrat to do as nicely with seniors was in all probability Bill Clinton in 1996. Both the network exit poll and one performed for The Los Angeles Times had Clinton successful them by a minimum of six factors. The closing ABC News/Washington Post pre-election monitor ballot had Clinton taking seniors by double-digits. (The information in 2000 is extra combined with some sources indicating Al Gore gained seniors and finding the opposite.)

We additionally see Biden’s sturdy efficiency with senior voters getting right down to the state stage as nicely.

Specifically, have a look at the state of Florida. An common of stay interview polls taken since mid-summer have Biden up two factors amongst this group. That’s not as massive as his benefit nationally, however it’s a giant enchancment from the 9 factors Clinton misplaced amongst Florida seniors by within the closing 2016 polls.

The shift amongst seniors is one motive why Biden has maintained a lead within the Florida polls, regardless of doing worse amongst Hispanics.

Voters aged 65 and older make up a disproportionate share of Florida voters. According to the federal government’s 2016 Current Population Survey, for instance, they have been 30% of Florida’s voters in contrast with 24% nationally.
Another swing state the place we now have quite a lot of polling is Wisconsin. Biden was up double-digits amongst seniors in high-quality polls from CNN/SSRS and The New York Times/Siena College.

The level is we’re seeing the shift to Biden amongst voters age 65 and older happen throughout the board in states as demographically distinct as Florida and Wisconsin.

Now, it isn’t clear what the supply of the motion of senior voters to Biden is. You could be tempted to assume it is Trump’s dealing with of the coronavirus. That, nevertheless, would not appear to be the case.

As political scientists Robert Griffin and John Sides pointed out in May, Biden’s overperformance with seniors has been evident within the polling since 2019.

Griffin and Sides discovered proof that a minimum of a part of the explanation Biden was doing so nicely with the group is that he was perceived to be extra average than both Clinton or chief Democratic major rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Seniors aren’t as liberals as some youthful age teams .

Indeed, Biden did dominate Sanders amongst seniors within the major. The solely states the place Sanders did higher with voters age 65 and older have been Sanders’ house state of Vermont and subsequent door in New Hampshire, in accordance to entrance and exit polls.
Another, a minimum of partial rationalization, is Biden is doing higher with White voters compared to Clinton, they usually make up a disproportionate share of seniors in comparison with different age teams.

Whatever the explanation for Biden doing so nicely, it is a massive deal. It makes up for the way comparatively poorly he is doing with different teams such. If Biden was merely matching Clinton’s numbers with seniors, he’d be doing about three factors worse within the polls. That would sink his nationwide lead below give factors and make the Electoral College race too near name.

Instead, Biden has a transparent benefit nationally and the march to 270 electoral votes.

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