One Trend in the Polls May Be Trouble for Trump

President is losing support among older voters
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2020 7:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – One aspect of the 2020 race is getting more and more attention: Polls consistently show that President Trump is losing support among older voters amid the pandemic. The upshot of coverage is that Trump has plenty of time to turn things around, but if he fails to do so, Joe Biden gains an important potential avenue to the White House. Details:

  • 'Seismic' shift: Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 13 points among those 65 and older, but this year, he trails Biden by a single point in the same group, per an analysis of polls at FiveThirtyEight. If this 14-point swing holds in November—and that's a big if, notes the analysis—it would represent a "seismic shift in the voting behavior of America's oldest voters," writes Geoffrey Skelley. Trump also has fallen significantly among voters 55 and older; he won by 10 points in 2016 but is currently tied with Biden.
  • The pandemic: The White House's internal data suggests that much of Trump's trouble with seniors stems from his daily coronavirus briefings, reports the Wall Street Journal. The briefings, which he has since curtailed, were roundly criticized because Trump frequently attacked reporters and spoke at length about his own medical theories. The story quotes a campaign insider who notes that seniors were watching the briefings closely because they were most at risk for the virus, and many grew frustrated at the lack of usable information.

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