Exit poll data is providing some significant insights into Tuesday's election, in which President Barack Obama won a second term - and the role that voters 50 and older, who amount to nearly half of the electorate, played in the outcome.
an Oct. 24 post, we looked at how the future of Medicare, Social Security and other programs for older Americans may well be shaped by the outcomes of 12 key races for seats in the U.S. Senate, all of which have been rated as tossups by RealClearPolitics or major news organizations, and in a Nov. 2 post we looked at how those races were playing out in the final days of the 2012 campaign.
News organizations have called the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin in favor of Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who defeated former Wisconsin governor and Bush administration official Tommy Thompson. With 78.8 percent of the vote counted, Baldwin was leading 50.8 percent to 46.6 percent, according to Politico.
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, written off just months ago as a likely loser in her Missouri re-election race, has won a trip back to Washington - and she has 50- to 64-year-old voters, the state's biggest voter group by age, in part to thank for it.
Whether you're a hard-core political junkie or just an ordinary citizen who's concerned about the outcome, there are a wealth of ways to follow election night 2012 on your laptop, tablet or even your smart phone. Here are some suggestions:
It was once accepted conventional wisdom in politics that messing with federal retirement programs would sink a candidate with older voters. Want to win retiree-rich Florida? Then just attack your opponent as a threat to Social Security or Medicare or both. During the 1992 Democratic presidential primary, Bill Clinton took one little paragraph from Paul Tsongas' treatise, "A Call to Economic Arms,'' in which his rival floated the idea of a 1 percent reduction in cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. Using the passage to portray Tsongas as an enemy of the retired, Clinton succeeded in winning Florida and permanently damaged Tsongas' campaign.
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