Obama tries to appeal to senior voters

Aug. 12, 2008 at 11:08 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- If Sen. Barack Obama is going to achieve his goal of bridging the U.S. generation gap, he must appeal to resistant voters 65 years and older, observers said.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has encountered push-back from this senior demographic voting bloc that turns out big numbers on Election Day and is disproportionately represented in swing states, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Polls indicate Obama swamps likely Republican candidate Sen. John McCain among those under 40 and is about even among middle-aged voters. But the Arizona Republican enjoys a lead among those 65 years and older, the largest being older white voters without a college education.

Surveys and interviews suggest that older voters said they think McCain, who will be 72 in August, is closer to sharing their values and outlook on the world than the 47-year-old Illinois Democrat.

"The older people just don't see Obama in these glowing terms," said Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center director. "For older voters, a lot of the reservations really have to do with this experience factor, while younger voters see in Obama something much closer to themselves."

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