- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

After two decades, the older and wiser appear to have tired of the Democratic Party and made a big switch. They’re now Republicans, according to a major new Gallup study.

“Seniors - those aged 65 and older - have moved from a reliably Democratic group to a reliably Republican one over the past two decades. From 1992 through 2006, seniors had been solidly Democratic and significantly more Democratic than younger Americans. Over the last seven years, seniors have become less Democratic, and have shown an outright preference for the Republican Party since 2010,” reports Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones.

He based his conclusions on a huge sample of respondents - about 18,000 for each year in the study, or about 250,000 people.

Should politicians on both sides of the aisle pay attention? It would be prudent not to overlook them. Age 70 is now framed as  “the new 50” - and this is a voter group that strategists and analysts agree is motivated and engaged. They do get out and vote, and the Boomer demographic is many in number.

And on to the numbers: In 1992, 53 percent of senior citizens identified as Democrats or leaned that way, 39 percent identified as Republicans or leaned Republican. The Dems were ahead by 14 percentage points, But the older and wiser among us have shifted their interest.

“Last year, 48 percent of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45 percent Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage,” Mr. Jones says.

 

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