Candidates Court Fla.'s Senior Power Brokers

40% of the Sunshine State's voters are over 65
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 1:03 PM CST
Republican presidential candidate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, speaks to residents of a retirement community during a campaign visit to The Villages, Fla., Thursday Nov. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Reinhold...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The road to the GOP nomination may pass through The Villages, a retirement community outside Orlando with an upper-crust, Republican-heavy population. “If you don’t get your condos to the polls, you don’t win,” a professor says of the 350 retirement communities in Florida, where 40% of voters are over 65, Politico reports. And The Villages, pop. 65,000, holds special sway.

Founded by a George Bush “pioneer” who has raised more than $200,000 for the president, the development has entertained nearly every GOP hopeful. So who are The Villages' residents supporting today? Said one man old enough to be John McCain’s father, “When you’re 70, you’ve lost a lot of physical juice. The problem is that he’s too old.”