About those seniors...
According to a Reuters report today (bold emphasis added by me)--
New polling by Reuters/Ipsos indicates that during the past two weeks - since just after the Democratic National Convention - support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over Democratic President Barack Obama to less than 4 points.
Romney's double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare - the nation's health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled - also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas.
Voting preferences among seniors could change in the final six weeks of the campaign, but the polling suggests that a series of recent episodes favoring Obama and the Democrats could be chipping away at Romney's support among older Americans.
Romney's selection of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate put the federal budget and Medicare at center stage in the campaign. But the debate over spending and entitlement programs that Romney seemed to be seeking has not unfolded the way Republicans wanted.
Democrats accused Romney of dismissing a range of Americans, including elderly people who depend on government programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Romney's campaign rejected that, but the recent polls suggest that such claims may be resonating with Americans aged 60 and older, who for months had been the only age group to consistently support Romney over Obama.
Analysts say that if Romney cannot reverse the trend among older voters, he won't win on Nov. 6.
"If Romney loses seniors, he loses this election, period," said Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy specialist at the University of North Carolina. "A bad showing nationally (among older voters) does not bode well for Florida and other states with big senior populations."
Pollsters say Obama's recent rise in popularity among older Americans could signal that Democrats are winning the advertising battle over Medicare.
That would be something of a turnaround for Democrats.
For much of the past two years, Republicans have helped to sway public opinion against Obama's signature legislative achievement, his overhaul of the healthcare system, by casting it as a government overreach that will kill jobs by raising costs for employers.
A Pew poll, conducted Sept. 12-16 and released last week, showed Romney with only a 47 to 46 percent lead among registered voters aged 65-plus. He also trailed Obama by 7 points among people aged 45 to 64 - a huge potential voting bloc that analysts say is increasingly concerned about retirement security.
To illustrate the challenge that Romney could face in November, analysts note that Republican John McCain won 53 percent of the vote among those 65 and older in 2008, and lost to Obama with 46 percent of the overall vote.
"This is certainly a bit of a game changer," Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said of the increasing support for Obama among older Americans. "Older individuals vote. They're the ones who turn up on Election Day, for sure."
Romney and Ryan are likely to need a clear victory among older voters to win the election, given Obama's advantages among other important voting groups such as women, minorities and young adults, analysts said.
"For Romney to win the election, he has to have the majority of the vote from people over 50," said Robert Blendon, a political analyst at the Harvard School of Public Health. "If they share voters over 50, Romney's really going to take a loss here."
So, like some of us have been saying, seniors are not stupid. They can read, listen and comprehend.
It's not over until it's over, of course, but I think this is good news.
Here is a link that might be useful: Link