DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Whatever the fate of Medicare, none of the proposals to bolster the federal program changes benefits for the current generation of senior citizens.
But Leonard Yordon, an 88-year-old Republican, and many of his peers, from both political parties, worry that changes might hurt their children and grandchildren. And they speak of little else when talk in this central Florida community turns to the presidential election.
Senior citizens are a coveted voting bloc in Florida, where they make up about a quarter of the electorate in this highly contested swing state, according to The Wall Street Journal.
They are especially important for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, given his deficit among young voters and minorities, according to polls.
Romney needs not only to win among senior citizens but to win big. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican Sen. John McCain captured the group by an 8 percent margin in Florida but lost the state to President Obama. Florida opened eight days of early voting on Saturday.
Polls now show Mr. Romney leading among the state's elderly voters by 6% to 12%—a sign he may be weathering reasonably well the charges by Democrats that he and running mate Paul Ryan would undermine Medicare. Among all voters in Florida, Mr. Romney leads Mr. Obama by an average of less than 2 percent.
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