UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY via REUTERS) – White educated voters helped the elderly Donald Trump reach the White House in the 2016 presidential election.
Now, a new Epsus poll and analysis of heavily contested constituency data show that voters are leaning toward Democrats, which may turn the scales in close races in congressional seats from New Jersey to California.
The poll, conducted in the first three months of this year, showed that US-educated whites over the age of 60 college graduates are now favoring Democrats over Republicans in the congressional race by a margin of two points.
That same age group had supported Republicans by 10 percentage points.
The 12-point shift is one of the biggest shifts in support for Democrats in the Reuters / Ipsos surveys over the last two years.
If this trend continues, Republicans will have difficulty maintaining their control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate in the November elections, which could have a negative impact on President Trump’s legislative agenda.
“The real mass of Republicans is white adults and if they lose ground in this sector, they will see a surge,” said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia who closely follows political races. If this continues until November, their fate will be overwhelming.”
When asked about the shift, Rona McDaniel, head of the Republican National Committee, said she was a strong fund-raiser and said the party would launch strong campaigns in rival states.
“We do not tolerate any vote,” she said in a statement.
Accountant John Kam, 63, of Towson, has been the shadow of his Republican Party since President Nixon’s administration but now says he will likely support a Democratic candidate for Congress in November.
The reason for its break-up is health insurance as well as recent changes in the income tax system. It also supports measures to curb the proliferation of weapons rejected by the party.
“I am a moderate Republican. However, my party has moved away from it. So they gave me a moderate democracy.”
He is not alone in his concerns about health care. The survey found that the number of older learners who chose health care as their top priority rose almost threefold over the past two years from eight percent to 21 percent.
The survey did not include questions about participants’ concerns about health care in particular.
However, the habit has been that voter fears vary. Some fear the repeal of the welfare law adopted by former President Barack Obama to provide subsidized health insurance to millions of Americans and expand health care for the poor.
Others fear the high cost of medicines and the cost of health care in general.
– Amplify gray sounds –
Amplifying the potential impact of any shift in favor of Democrats that older learners are reliable voters. They represent a good proportion of the voting participants in many constituencies where the race is close.
Their vote is likely to dissolve elections in up to 26 constituencies contesting congressional elections. A Reuters analysis of US census data showed that older voters with higher education accounted for between 5 and 10 percent of the population in those areas.
Democrats need to grab 24 seats to win control of the House of Representatives.
More generally, older white Americans, regardless of their educational level, are likely to vote for Republicans rather than Democrats, but the Republicans’ advantage in this category has shrunk by about 5 percentage points when compared to the first quarter of 2018 in the first quarter of 2016.
– The power is disproportionate –
The older educated voters have more power in the second constituency in the Arizona congressional elections where John Kam lives.
They represent about 10 percent of the population in that district, the analysis shows.
Paul Bentz, an Arizona strategist and pollster who has worked in many Republican campaigns, said the circle was adjacent to Arizona Towson campus and contained some of the few pockets of liberals, the most competitive in Arizona.
Senators in Arizona, who were interviewed by Reuters, showed older voters in the second district, whether college degree holders or not, accounted for 40 percent of voters in 2016, who kept Congress in the hands of Republicans and came to Trump.
Bentz said a shift in favor of Democrats in the Towson area might be enough to resolve the outcome but cautioned against overstating the increase in health care concerns.
Republicans, however, may win votes by focusing on immigration and military support, he said.
Older educated voters also represent nearly 10 percent of the adult population in the 11th Congressional Circuit, which is locked in fierce competition in northern New Jersey and three circles with fierce competition in southern California, as well as stiff competition seats in Illinois, Texas and the 10th Circuit in Virginia.
– Raise anxiety –
At the national level, Democratic Party strategists said Democrats planned to launch a strong campaign to win older voters by focusing on issues such as taxes, health care and the economy as election campaigns become hotter later this year.
Republicans are trying to focus on the benefits of tax cuts and improving the economy.
In a statement that began last week in Indiana, the United States’ largest fundraising group, USAA, is highlighting the increase in the federal budget deficit as a result of tax cuts approved by Republicans.
“There is now a plan to cut the health care program to fund it,” the ad says, in a sign intended to raise older Americans’ concerns about the government’s health care program for those over 65.
Josh Schueren, a spokesman for the group, said it planned to spend $ 50 million on similar ads in several states, including Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“He is unhappy with his party and has mixed feelings about Trump,” said Kenneth Johnston, 82, a Republican who is shopping with his wife at the farm market in Green Valley, south of Towson.
But he has yet to decide who will give his vote.
“I am concerned about health care, but sometimes I am concerned about everything. I’m old.”