GOP Support Among Seniors, a Key Trump Base, Drops Dramatically: Poll

The Republican Party has suffered a heavy loss of support from senior voters in recent months, a key demographic for the party in November's midterms and for Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, according to polls.

A recent survey conducted by CNN and the research firm SSRS found that 47 percent of those aged 65 and over said they would vote for a GOP candidate if the midterm congressional election for their district were held "today," with slightly more people aged 65 and over saying they would vote for a Democratic candidate (49 percent).

This is a major turnaround from May, when a previous CNN/SSRS poll found that nearly two-thirds of those aged 65 and over (62 percent) said they would back a Republican candidate in the midterms, compared to just 37 percent of seniors who said they would back a Democratic candidate.

According to the results, the GOP has seen a 15 percent drop in support from those aged 65 and over—one of the main demographics in any election—in just two months between the two polls being conducted.

trump gop senior voters
A new poll has found a major drop in support for Republicans among senior voters. Above, President Donald Trump speaks during an event on protecting America’s senior citizens in the East Room of the White House on April 30, 2020. Win McNamee/Getty Images

As noted by John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, the GOP has also seen an "erosion" of support between other key demographics between the two polls in May and July.

These include a fall of 3 percent (49 to 46) from registered voters and a 4 percent drop in support from potential women voters. The survey results are troublesome for the GOP as they hope to regain control of both the House and Senate in November's midterms.

If the CNN polls are accurate, the results could also have a knock-on effect on Trump and his hopes for the White House in 2024. Trump has not formally stated that he will run for president again, but it's widely thought that he'll make an announcement around the 2022 midterms in November.

Just like every election, Trump will need to get the senior voters on his side to choose to run for president again, with the demographic estimated to make up around 25 percent of the total electorate in any election.

According to a recent The New York Times/Siena College survey, Trump is by far the favorite potential Republican presidential candidate for the over 65s—albeit with the former president also the current leading candidate in almost all other demographics.

The survey found that nearly half (48 percent) of those aged 65 and over would vote for Trump if the Republican presidential primary took place today, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a distant second at 19 percent and former Vice President Mike Pence third at 10 percent.

That same poll suggested that Trump's overall support has started to weaken, with less than half (49 percent) of Republican voters now backing him as their preferred choice, with DeSantis' prospects of becoming the Republican growing among polls and key party donors.

The CNN/SSRS survey was conducted between June 13 and July 13, with a sample of 1,459 respondents. The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 849 registered voters between July 5 to July 7.