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.
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.
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.
President Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger in the 2012 presidential election, met tonight for the second of three debates, but three issues of critical importance to older Americans - Medicare, Social Security and the new health care law - earned only scant mentions.
President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney donned their blue and red ties, respectively, and took to the stage Wednesday evening for the first presidential debate of Election 2012. With little more than a month before Election Day, it was interesting to finally see the two men come face to face. In the 90-minute televised debate broadcast from Denver, Obama and Romney covered ample issues of import to older adults, including Medicare, Medicaid, health care reform and Social Security.
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