The Hill: For Dems, a Problem with Seniors

Aaron Flint posted on April 07, 2014 08:55 :: 827 Views

You may recall last month’s post noting that Montana seniors have soured on Obamacare.  Now The Hill is reporting on the mounting problems for Democrats with seniors:

Seniors are the GOP’s most reliable voting bloc in midterm years, turning out in higher numbers than Democratic base voters. A recent Gallup poll showed seniors have become even more Republican over the last two decades; in 2013, 48 percent considered themselves Republican.

That spells trouble for Democrats, who are already facing a difficult midterm climate. Doug Thornell, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman, said it is imperative to close the gap his party faced in the last midterm cycle.


New Poll: Montana Seniors Sour on Obamacare

Montana’s seniors sour on Obamacare according to a new poll.

In his “Morning Jolt” email, Jim Geraghty with noted:

Here’s what YG Network found in a poll conducted from March 3-6 among a total sample of 461 likely voters 65 years and older in the state of Arkansas:

Obamacare approval among seniors stands at 43 percent in Alaska, 35 percent in Colorado, 28 percent in Louisiana, 42 percent in Michigan, 30 percent in Montana and 37 percent in North Carolina.

Hey, it’s not like seniors turn out in big numbers in midterm elections, right?


TO: Interested Parties
FR: John Murray, YG Network
DT: March 10, 2014

This YG Network Medicare Poll was conducted from March 3-6, 2014, among a total sample of 459 likely voters 65 years and older in Montana. The interviews were conducted via live dial calls and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of senior likely voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, and educational attainment. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Bottom Line:

  • Seniors in Montana detest ObamaCare. Their approval of the law stands at 30-57, with 47% strongly disapproving. And, 53% expect the law to negatively impact Medicare
  • An overwhelming majority of seniors are happy with their current Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D plans. Moreover, any hint of reductions or changes bring expectations of increased costs and reduced access.
  • Seniors are ready to blame Democrats for negative changes (51% say ObamaCare/Dems in Congress will deserve most blame for increase in Medicare Advantage costs, 49% say the same for increase in Part D costs).


Key Findings:

Satisfaction of Medicare and Medicare Advantage is high among seniors — 87% of seniors say they are satisfied with their Medicare plan (with 44% indicating they are very satisfied) and 68% say they are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan (with 35% indicating they are very satisfied).

A majority of seniors disapprove of ObamaCare —57% of seniors disapprove of the President’s signature law, with 47% strongly disapproving. Just 30% approve and only 20% strongly approve of the law. The notable two-to-one disparity in intensity is a strong indicator that ObamaCare disapproval among seniors has motivational potential.

  • Men (27%-64%, 53% strongly disapprove) are less inclined to support the law than women (33%-53%, 43% strongly disapprove), it is notable that majorities of both sexes disapprove.
  • Younger seniors (65-74) are less inclined to support the law (31%-59%, 50% strongly disapprove) than older seniors (75+) (30%-54%, 43% strongly disapprove).

And, a majority of seniors believe ObamaCare will ultimately hurt Medicare – 53% believe the healthcare law will negatively impact Medicare, with 39% believing it will make Medicare “much worse.” Just 19% believe ObamaCare will have a positive impact on Medicare (only 9% believe it will make Medicare “much better”). A plurality of seniors expect ObamaCare to decrease access to providers practicing in their Medicare and Medicare Advantage networks.

A majority of seniors are VERY satisfied with Part D — Among those who have a Part D plan, 53% of seniors say they are very satisfied with it (90% of seniors with a Part D plan indicate they are satisfied overall).

Seniors are VERY concerned about the Medicare Advantage rate adjustment— 49% are very concerned seniors will bear the rise in costs, 44% are very concerned the reduction will reduce plan availability and 45% are very concerned about reduced access to providers.

% Concerned-%Not Concerned (% Very Concerned)

Rise in Costs

Reduced # of plans

Reduced provider access


75%-25% (53%)

68%-32% (49%)

76%-24% (52%)


69%-31% (46%)

63%-37% (39%)

60%-40% (39%)

Younger Seniors (65-74)

71%-29% (51%)

65%-35% (46%)

69%-31% (49%)

Older Seniors (75+)

74%-46% (47%)

66%-34% (41%)

65%-35% (39%)

A majority of seniors are ready to blame Dems for any increase in Medicare Advantage costs and nearly one-half are ready to blame Dems for any increase in Part D costs. — More than one-third (35%) of seniors say ObamaCare will deserve the most blame for any increase in Medicare Advantage costs and 16% say Democrats in Congress will deserve the most blame (only 15% say Republicans in Congress will deserve the most blame). Similarly, 34% say ObamaCare will deserve the most blame for any increase in Part D, while 15% say Democrats in Congress (again, just 13% say Republicans in Congress will deserve the most blame).

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