Barack Obama is facing an unusually pronounced generation gap among voters: though normally apathetic young people are supporting him in droves, those over 65 are leaning heavily toward John McCain—a fact that’s keeping the race tight, the Washington Post reports. And seniors have a loud voice on Election Day, voting at the highest rates and holding strong sway in swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida.
Seniors tend to identify with McCain’s worldview—focused on “Country First,” with a military background, a reserved wife, and little familiarity with the Internet—much more than Obama’s. And the primary campaign didn’t help the Democrat: “He wasn't working with older communities to get out their vote,” says the director of a retired-persons organization. “He's pretty much unknown as a result.”