It's not just the toplines, which are bad enough:
50 and older
In 2008, John McCain beat Obama in Florida among voters older than 65 by a 53-45 margin. Obama won voters 50-64 by a 10-point margin, 54-44. Add them up, and Obama won the 50+ cohort by a couple of points.
Two years later, however, seniors flocked to the GOP. In Florida, Republican Rick Scott won with 51 percent of the senior vote to 47 percent for his Democratic opposition. Nationally, voters over the age of 50 gave Republicans an even more dramatic 55-43 victory over Democrats. Thanks to depressed turnout among younger voters, those older voters fueled the GOP's landslide victories in 2010.
If Republicans want to win big, they need to maintain that edge among seniors, both in Florida and nationally. This latest CNN poll shows that they are falling short of their 2010 mark, and are barely overperforming their 2008 numbers when Obama won the state by three points. Throw in demographic shift (older anti-Obama voters have died off, younger pro-Obama voters are replacing them, and the share of the white vote is decreasing), and it's not enough to close the gap to Obama.
In other words, as new polling comes out, keep an eye on those senior numbers. They will go a long way toward telling us just how bad a year Republicans are about to have.
Thanks, Paul Ryan!
4:08 PM PT: From khyber900 in the comments:
In this poll, Romney was up +6 among the 65+Exactly.
crowd among likely voters. That suggests that Obama is striking pay dirt with the 50-64 crowd just as he is in PA and is causing some seniors to think twice about throwing their lot in with the GOP. I do not believe the GOP can sustain a 2 month assault on their voucher program. Obama can pick this issue apart and make a play for the 50-64 vote without losing anything from the other Obama favorable demographic groups.