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Candidates, take note: Boomers are an enormous part of the presidential electorate and can play a pivotal role in who gets the nomination and wins a trip to – or back to – the White House. In Louisiana, just about half (49 percent) of the voters in yesterday’s Republican primary voters were 45 to 64 years old, according to exit polls. Another 26 percent of the voters were 65 or older, putting the contest firmly in the hands of older …
Are older voters as angry as they were in 2010, when they formed the backbone of the Tea Party? Listening to an NPR report from a debate-watching party in Oracle, Ariz., on Feb. 20, you might not think so. At least not at first. Fifteen members of the Saddlebrooke Republican Club gathered in their retirement community, which, according to the developer’s website, offers “a country club lifestyle that can best be described as breathtaking.” The partiers weren’t really representative of …
Many political commentators felt disappointed by last night’s Republican presidential debate in Florida. Moderator Brian Williams seemed to stop the candidates whenever serious policy talk got underway in favor of fluff questions about electability, horse race hoopla and a seemingly random barrage of hypotheticals (what if Fidel Castro died? what would you have done about Terri Schiavo?). But in a state where about 40 percent of the population is 50 or older, and one in six citizens is 65+, the candidates spent surprisingly little time talking about issues of import to older Americans.
The next GOP primary is in Florida, home to a lot of older voters. Some folks say this makes the state an easy win for Mitt Romney, of whom older voters have historically been fond. But as we saw in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich also holds presidential appeal with both the boomer and the 65+ sets.