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Michigan Seniors Could Decide 2024 Election


Reprinted by PIME with permission from AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens)


By Rebecca Weber | June 6, 2024


With more than five months to go until Election Day, there are undoubtedly still a number of surprises in store. But one thing that does seem clear is that the race will be decided in a few key swing states, with Michigan emerging as one of the most important.


Michigan was one of the closest races in each of the two previous presidential cycles, with Mr. Trump carrying the state by just over 11,000 votes in 2016 and Biden winning by just over 150,000 votes in 2020 amid controversy over changes to election laws. The latest 2024 general election polling has Michigan as a virtual dead heat.


In a race this tight, every vote is critical. But Michigan seniors in particular could prove decisive in who carries the state – and perhaps the entire election.


In addition to making up a majority of all voters, senior citizens are by far the most likely to vote. According to voter data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2022 the turnout rate among Michigan voters aged 65 or older was 77 percent. That figure was 67 percent for voters in the 45-64 age range, 58 percent for voters aged 35-44, 51 percent for ages 25-34, and 47 percent for ages 18-24.


As a result, Michigan voters aged 65 or older made up 28.7 percent of actual voters in 2022, despite only accounting for 23 percent of the total population of eligible voters. In total, Michiganders over the age of 45 made up 64.6 percent of actual voters in 2022, while only accounting for 57.1 percent of eligible voters.


While these discrepancies may seem small, they could be the determining factor in another close race.


Several issues this year are shaping up to be of particular importance to seniors – and may pose a serious problem for President Biden’s re-election effort.


The most glaring is Biden’s second round of cuts to Medicare Advantage, an important part of the Medicare program, which saves enrollees about $2,400 per year compared to traditional Medicare. More than 31 million Americans receive their benefits through Medicare Advantage plans – including 1.3 million Michigan seniors.


Official notices of Biden’s benefit cuts will arrive this fall, just a few weeks before Election Day.


Older Americans, many of whom are on fixed incomes, have also been particularly hard hit by the persistent inflation seen under President Biden. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of a recent Boston College study, “nearly a quarter of retirees and near-retirees changed their withdrawal rates between 2021 and 2023, boosting distributions by an average of $1,810 in each of those years.” 70 percent of retirees now say they are worried about running out of savings.


Moreover, those nearing retirement age have seen their lifelong aspirations pushed out of reach by the increased cost of living. 42 percent of Americans say they have dipped into their retirement savings because of inflation, while 40 percent of older Americans have said they will be forced to delay their retirement.


These dismal statistics give Mr. Trump a strong argument to make about why his return to the White House would reverse the negative trends seen under Biden. During Mr. Trump’s presidency, the average Americans’ 401k hit a record high, and inflation averaged just 1.9 percent.


In Michigan specifically, Mr. Trump’s record of re-shoring manufacturing jobs and support for the American auto industry could be attractive for voters of all ages, but in particular those in the later stages of their careers looking to save for retirement. President Biden’s aggressive electric vehicle push has proven disastrous for U.S. automakers, with Ford and General Motors – two of the most important employers in the state – cutting nearly 3,000 jobs in Michigan last year alone.


Mr. Biden clearly recognizes the negative implications these green policies could have on his re-election prospects and has repeatedly traveled to the state to speak to United Auto Workers union members, promising more jobs and investment. Michigan has also been one of Mr. Biden’s top campaign stops, where the president has made a special effort to appeal to seniors.


Mr. Trump, meanwhile, will have a chance to make his case directly to Michigan seniors at “The People’s Convention,” a major gathering of conservatives hosted by Turning Point Action being held in Detroit from June 14-16. This event is a prime opportunity for Mr. Trump to address the concerns of seniors while also rallying thousands of young people. He would be wise to reaffirm his commitment to protecting Medicare Advantage and Social Security while also providing specifics on how he plans to restore economic growth and reduce the cost of living.


Tens of millions of Americans will cast ballots in this year’s election. But when the dust settles, the winner may well come down to which candidate can best appeal to seniors in the Great Lakes State.

 

Rebecca Weber is the CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens and is the host of the Better for America podcast.


This op-ed originally appeared here in the Detroit News. URL : https://amac.us/newsline/elections/michigan-seniors-could-deci


 

CANCELED: MFE's News@Noon, June 13


Due to the exciting events happening in Michigan June 13-16, Today's MFE Coalition Task Force meeting is canceled.


We will return June 20 at Noon for our regularly scheduled meeting.


We encourage you to sign up for the Grassroots events listed below. People's Convention tickets are now DISCOUNTED!


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Thursday, June 13, 4:00-6:00


The Lawfare Attack on the Republic. You've seen and heard him as a guest in MFE Noon Coalition meetings, now meet him in person! Hear Erick Kaardal speak on how to fight back against Lawfare in our Judicial System.


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The People’s Convention, is a one of a kind, three day event. Attendees will hear from dozens of the nations top leaders, network with thousands of likeminded attendees and dozens of partnering organizations, and leave equipped with the knowledge and resources to make a impact in their communities ahead of the 2024 election. Convention information Here.


Don't miss our own MFE Chair Patrice Johnson speak on Stopping Unfair Influence on Our Elections at 1 PM, June 14, in a breakout session!


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Below is the schedule for National Working Groups June 10-14. A link to the full National Working Group Calendar for June is HERE  (All meetings are noted in Eastern time.)


Thursday, June 13



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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Michigan Fair Elections. Every article written by an MFE author is generated by the author or editor alone. Links embedded within the article, however, may have been generated by artificial intelligence.

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