A whopping 74% of seniors oppose Paul Ryan’s [budget]… Romney is now stuck between two inexorable laws in today’s politics:
You can’t sell Medicare cuts to seniors, and you can’t beat President Obama without them.
Obama’s 2008 coalition had a clear demographic fissure, and it had nothing to do with race or class. It was all about age. Obama faced major skepticism from older Americans, who could have tipped the race with slightly higher turnout. In fact, if the 2008 election were held among voters over 50, John McCain would have won. Among seniors, McCain had a convincing 7-point edge.
Now, no one expects Romney to beat Obama among twentysomethings, but the GOP must hold its edge among seniors to stand a chance. Or, as the New Republic’s Nate Cohn recently summed up the numbers, “Romney possesses no credible route to the presidency without a double-digit victory among voters older than 65 years old.”
So by picking Ryan, Romney both excited his ideological base and endangered his demographic base.
From my new column on Romney’s demographic problem.
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