The most startling shift, though, is among voters age 65 and older. Four years ago, Trump bested Hillary Clinton by 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a survey of more than 60,000 voters organized by Harvard University and administered by YouGov. But now Biden narrowly leads Trump 48 percent to 47 percent, based on an average of 48 national polls that included that age group.1 If those figures hold until November, they would represent a seismic shift in the voting behavior of America’s oldest voters.
The last Democratic nominee who won voters 65 and older was Al Gore in 2000, according to national exit poll data. But at the time, that was the trend. Older Americans — those who came of age during the Great Depression and New Deal era, a period in which the Democratic Party was dominant — were disproportionately Democratic-leaning in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And political science has found evidence that party loyalties developed at a young age can persist over the course of a person’s life.
But it’s not just among voters 65 and older where Trump is slipping. He’s also fallen almost as far among voters 55 and older. Trump is essentially tied with Biden among that age group, even after winning these voters by 10 points in 2016, 53 percent to 43 percent, according to the CCES.