Duking It Out Online

This year’s presidential campaign, more than any in history, will play out on a digital battleground – everything from the candidates’ own websites to Facebook and Twitter and anything, really, that comes to us byte-by-byte. Digital ads have joined television and radio ads as instruments of political persuasion and propaganda. E-mail is crowding out direct mail in the same way. Even fundraising has moved increasingly online, where campaigns can collect money (in mostly small amounts) nearly as fast as they …

For Romney, What A Difference Four Years Makes

Mitt Romney’s “favorable” rating has been on something of a roller coaster in 2012. But the more older Republican primary voters have seen him, the more they seem to like him. Romney, who abandoned his 2008 quest for the Republican presidential nomination soon after Super Tuesday, has been doing better among 50-plus voters in the GOP primaries this year, according to exit polls. With few exceptions, Romney improved his standing among 50- to 64-year-old Republicans as well as Republicans 65 …

The “Senior Vote” – Are They Talking About Me?

It bugs me when marketers refer to “the over-50 crowd.” Whether hawking online dating services or warning about the dangers of STDs, they seem to see us as one huge lump of aging humanity. It feels like we disappear as individuals. Sure, I’m over 50, but that isn’t top of mind as I go about my day. There’s a similar tendency to stereotype American voters during election season, Dante Chinni, a journalist who directs the Patchwork Nation project at the …

Santorum – For Whom the Bellwether Tolled

As older Republican primary voters go, so went Rick Santorum‘s presidential campaign. Santorum, who suspended his campaign Tuesday by conceding the “race for us is over,” did well in primary states only when he did well among voters 50 and older – especially voters on the cusp of retirement age. According to the exit polls, Santorum’s finishes in individual primaries almost always mirrored how he did among voters aged 50 to 64. He took his biggest shares of 50- to …

Is the Grand Old Party Growing Older?

Republican primary voters are getting older. And it’s not just because, like the rest of us, they’ve aged four years since the last presidential election. The proportion of GOP primary voters who are 50 and older has gotten substantially bigger since 2008, according to exit polls in the states that have held primaries so far, even as overall turnout has dropped. In many cases, the increases have been in the double digits, showing a dramatic rise in the influence of …

As Voters Age, Does the Gender Gap Shrink?

The latest meme from the campaign trail is the gender gap. This week, just about everyone – from CNN and the Christian Science Monitor to the Huffington Post and Salon – has been reporting that women are more likely than men to favor a Democrat over a Republican in the 2012 election. It’s a familiar story: Women have favored Democratic candidates for at least three decades. The news seems to be that there’s some evidence of a bigger gender gap than …