The Senior Vote

| Mon Nov. 8, 2010 3:53 PM EST

Speaking of senior citizens and how they voted this year, why did they suddenly decide to vote en masse for Republicans? Part of the reason is that everyone voted en masse for Republicans this year. Still, seniors switched in even higher numbers than most groups, despite the fact that the economic turndown actually affects them less than most other age groups. Here's one explanation:

“I’ve been saying since August 2009, that there was a tsunami — in this case a senior citizen tsunami — headed towards Capitol Hill,” said Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association, a conservative campaign group targeted toward older voters. “That tsunami came ashore.”

....“I think that there is a level of fear that has grown with seniors vis-à-vis the Obama health care plan,” said Republican pollster Steve Lombardo. “Anytime that there’s change, I think seniors are going to be more concerned that that change is going to affect them in a negative way.”

Well, yeah. Seniors might very well be concerned that Medicare changes are going to affect them in a negative way. But there's that pesky passive voice again. Why were seniors concerned about this? No fancy political science is needed here: the answer is tens of millions of dollars spent on demagogic advertising like this. There's no need to get any more complicated about it.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.