Polls show Florida senior support of Trump in flux; president’s campaign not worried

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows President Donald Trump is losing his grip on seniors in our state, but another one from CBS News shows he still has a handle on the state.

History has shown presidential candidates can win or lose the Sunshine State by the thinnest of margins.

A major concern among older voters here in Florida is the way the president handled the pandemic. Some seniors say he left them vulnerable to the virus by not taking action sooner.

But there are still some seniors in Trump’s corner who say they will support him until the end.

Harry Nesteruk has voted for the Republican candidate for president for decades but says he will not vote to re-elect Donald Trump.

“It’s just been a cascade of issues that have totally decided that he is not the right person for this presidency,” Nesteruk said.

Nesteruk says issues such as the president’s decisions on climate change and his claims of fraud with mail-in ballots pushed him to shift his support from Trump to Democratic nominee Joe Biden this November. But he says he is especially bothered by the way the president handled the pandemic.

“He is not protecting the public. He is endangering them,” Nesteruk said. “I’m finding more and more of my neighbors, when we talk about it, they are totally anti-Trump, so it seems to be definitely a growing sentiment in the senior citizen demographics.”

It’s a trend leaders of the Democratic Party in Lee County say they are seeing too.

“They look at it like they thought he was going to be something different, and they are not feeling as confident anymore,” said Gabriele Spuckes, the chair of the Democratic Party of Lee County.

But there are still some older Florida voters who say their support for Trump has not swayed.

“I think that my mind has been made up from day one,” Gary Bateman said. “I was voting for Trump ever since I voted for him last time.”

And a representative from the Trump campaign says they are confident a lot of senior voters in the Sunshine State feel the same, so they are not concerned.

“President Trump has been fighting for American seniors, and he is going to continue to do that,” said Erin Perrine, the director of press communications of the Trump campaign. “We are going to continue to share that message.”

The recent Quinnipiac poll has Joe Biden up slightly along with a recent AARP poll. However, a CBS News poll shows Trump up 53 to 44 with voters 65 and older.

The Wall Street Journal says president Trump won Lee County by around 20% points in 2016, which helped him win Florida by a narrow margin.


Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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