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Gallup Shows Big Shift Toward Obama Among Seniors

5:36 PM, Oct 8, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
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Since August, Gallup has presented its tracking polls broken down by voter subgroups. With two months of data collected, some interesting trends emerge. One of the most troubling for the McCain campaign is the shift among seniors. McCain supporters had hoped older voters would offset his deficit among the under-30 crowd. Not only were elderly Americans more supportive of the Republican nominee, but they historically turn out in higher proportions.

Back in early August, McCain held an eight-point lead (47%-39%) among those age 65-plus. He also trailed by a small margin with the 30-49 group (-3) and those between 50-64 (-4). Among younger voters 18-29 years of age, McCain trailed by nearly 30 points (-29).

The most recent polling shows little movement in the three under-65 age groups. McCain "improves" to -26 points among the under-30 crowd, slips to -6 among those 30-49 and moves up to -2 with the 50-64 year olds. But it's within the 65-plus crowd where the most significant movement occurs. McCain support among seniors slips from +8 to -1.

The net shift of nine points among seniors is the biggest move among any subgroup, meaning seniors account for a major part of McCain's slump in the overall numbers. This is not welcome news for Team McCain following a lot of other negative polling trends in the past two weeks.

But this election has been filled with surprises. And a few more in the next month would keep things normal.