Democrats Desperate to Win Back the Elderly

Try to attack Republicans on Social Security
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2010 2:34 PM CDT
Barack Obama, accompanied by Kathleen Sebelius, speaks during a national town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act, June 8, 2010, at the Holiday Park Multipurpose Senior Center in Wheaton, Md.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Democrats are redoubling their efforts to connect with the elderly, a group they’ve done well with traditionally, but not lately. Seniors were the only age group that didn’t favor Barack Obama in 2008, and he hasn’t exactly changed their minds since. According to one poll, 36% of seniors still believe the false “death panel” rumors surrounding the Democrats’ health care reform effort. Many were also hit especially hard by the financial crisis, and worry about the national debt.

“They are the voting group we are doing the worst with,” a party pollster tells the Washington Post. “They are also the voting group with the highest turnout in an off-year election.” To win them over, Democrats are emphasizing their commitment to Social Security (taking advantage of the program’s 75th anniversary) and a new call from Republicans to privatize the program. At one recent event at a senior center in Virginia, for example, a Democratic congressman promised to “resist to my last breath” any such attempt.

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