Donald Trump won in 2016 with a strong performance among voters age 65 and older, but a new analysis finds that the president is losing ground among this key demographic.
The polling and analysis site FiveThirtyEight noted that recent public polling, as well as Trump’s own internal polls, show that former Vice President Joe Biden is taking a much larger share of this group than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The flip for Trump has been dramatic among some older demographics, including the oldest voters. Trump won the 65 and older group by 13.3 points in the last election but now is trailing Biden by one point, the average of head-to-head polling showed. Trump has also lost ground among different splits of older voters, including those from 45 to 64, 50 to 64, and 50-plus — but losing these demographics by smaller margins.
As the report noted, Biden achieving support that high among the oldest voters is rare ground for a Democratic candidate, with Al Gore the last candidate to win more voters over the age of 65.
“If those figures hold until November, they would represent a seismic shift in the voting behavior of America’s oldest voters,” the analysis noted.
The report added that the trend of older voters moving to Biden appears to be reflected in swing key swing states as well, though there is not as much data from these states as there is for national head-to-head polling.
The polling can still change between now and Election Day, the analysis noted, and is likely to do so. It noted that Biden had previously been trailing Trump among voters 65 and older in polls from just last month, with Biden making up ground throughout April and early May.
Part of that rise for Biden has coincided with Trump’s falling approval ratings on his handling of the coronavirus crisis. As CBS News found in a poll, a total of 43 percent of Americans said Trump has been doing a good job in handling the crisis while 57 percent said he was doing a bad job. Those numbers were nearly flipped from polling initially taken in March, the early days of the outbreak in the United States and a time when Trump was seeing a bump in support.
“Views of President Trump’s handling of the outbreak continue to drop from March and are now the lowest he has received,” the report noted.
“Today, 43% say he’s doing a good job, 5 points lower than three weeks ago and 10 points lower than in March.”