President Donald Trump is losing support among Americans age 65 or older, the same voting bloc that helped propel him to victory in 2016, largely thanks to his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As ABC News reported, in 2016, Trump beat his rival, Hillary Clinton, by seven percentage points with senior citizens. In this election cycle, it’s much closer: according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month, Trump is leading his 2020 adversary, Joe Biden, by a single percentage point, 49 percent to 48 percent.
Dianne Wilkes, 74, of North Carolina, is one of the older voters who is not supporting the incumbent president. She lays the blame squarely on his response to coronavirus.
“[Voters] also are going to be looking at how he’s handled and what he says about COVID-19 and the ludicrous remarks that are not scientifically-based. I think he shot himself in the foot,” she said.
Marcelo Montesinos, 72, also pointed to Trump’s handling of the pandemic as one of the reasons he’s not supporting him. The Florida man, who lost a relative to COVID-19, said that Trump knew back in February how serious the global pandemic was, but he ignored it.
“He didn’t take the precautions… he didn’t believe in science. He doesn’t believe in doctors,” he said.
Monteinos also claimed that he had high hopes for Trump, but that the virus thwarted the former real-estate developer.
“He was going to be the best president the U.S. ever had if he had taken care of the coronavirus.”
Another Florida voter, a man named Al, who did not give his last name, noted that Trump has repeatedly been at odds with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, in regards to the pandemic. Specifically, he claimed that the president frequently disregards the truth, especially when it comes to coronavirus.
“I believe Fauci. I don’t believe anything Trump says unless somebody of substantial means can verify it. Because he just lies all the time,” he said.
Biden is actively trying to court votes from older Americans in Florida. He’s run ads in the state aimed at assuring seniors that their Medicare and Social Security will be safe with him in the Oval Office. During a campaign stop in Broward County, Biden made his case almost exclusively to seniors, pointing out that Trump had repeatedly claimed that COVID-19 only affects older people and those with heart problems. Biden noted that Trump was referring to the very people in his audience.