The Republicans have pretty much written off the blacks, Latinos, women, the under 30’s, the poor; basically anyone who doesn’t look like someone waiting for a tee time at the country club. They’re relying on white men and older people to carry them through.
But if this memo from Carville-Greenberg is to be believed, they’re in trouble with older voters.
There’s something going on with seniors: It is now strikingly clear that they have turned sharply against the GOP. This is apparent in seniors’ party affiliation and vote intention, in their views on the Republican Party and its leaders, and in their surprising positions on jobs, health care, retirement security, investment economics, and the other big issues that will likely define the 2014 midterm elections.
We first noticed a shift among seniors early in the summer of 2011, as Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare became widely known (and despised) among those at or nearing retirement. Since then, the Republican Party has come to be defined by much more than its desire to dismantle Medicare. To voters from the center right to the far left, the GOP is now defined by resistance, intolerance, intransigence, and economics that would make even the Robber Barons blush. We have seen other voters pull back from the GOP, but among no group has this shift been as sharp as it is among senior citizens…
The simple reason is that seniors are always changing; they’re not a fixed group with a set of beliefs based on ethnicity, culture, or religion. They’re us. The baby boomers who were the hippies of the 60’s grew up to be in their 60’s. Like me.
Which means a lot of kids who smoked pot, listened to rock music, or were comfortable coming out of the closet are now the ones who are senior citizens. No wonder they use Led Zeppelin to sell insurance on TV.
So if the Republicans are thinking that the older generation is going to be in lockstep with their agenda of right-wing cranky points, they’re in for bummer of a trip.