April 24th, 2008
09:20 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama: I have a problem courting seniors

,
CNN

Watch Obama discuss his Pennsylvania primary loss on CNN Radio Wednesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama said Wednesday he has a problem appealing to senior voters.

Assessing his loss in Pennsylvania, the Illinois senator said Tuesday's primary result was not primarily due to how working class Democrats voted - a voting bloc that has long supported Clinton over Obama - then with the decisions of older voters.

"I have to say if you look at and I know my staff has talked about this: If you look at the numbers, our problem has less to do with white working class voters, the problem is, to the extent there is a problem is with older voters," Obama told reporters. "They are very loyal to sen Clinton. And I think part of that is they've got a track record of voting for not just Sen. Clinton but also her husband."

"We need to make sure on issues that are important to them - like prescription drugs or pension and retirement security - that I've got a strong track record on those issues and very specific plans to make sure that they are getting the kinds of help that they need," he also said. "And if we do that effectively, which you know we have tried to do it in all the states."

Voters over 65 are among the most reliable members of Clinton's base, though exit polls out of Pennsylvania indicate Obama may be making inroads into this demographic.

On Tuesday Clinton won about 60 percent of voters 65 and over. In the Ohio primary six weeks earlier, nearly 75 percent of those voters went for Clinton. The senior vote was particularly important in Pennsylvania as exit polls show nearly 30 percent of the electorate was over 65. In most primary states to date, those voters make up about 15 percent of the electorate.

Obama made similar comments to CNN's Roland Martin earlier Wednesday.

"We have won the white-, blue-collar vote in a whole bunch of states ... and if we had a demographic problem in Pennsylvania, it was that it's an older state than a lot of states, and it is true that Sen. Clinton has some strong support among voters over 60," he said on Roland Martin's radio show.


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soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. Darryl, Arlrington TX for Obama

    The Clinton have sicken so many with their lying campaigning style that may have worked in the for them now.

    But the say part is that they have divided the party and ensure a Republican Win.

    So, Clinton supporters becareful while our following the Clinton.

    I hope she don't take away what we work so hard to build the Democratic Party must win....

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. HC

    Only Hillary, not Obama

    HILLARY 08

    CNN, I think you will delete my comment, as CNN=Clinton Negative News

    HILLARY 08
    HILLARY 08
    HILLARY 08
    HILLARY 08
    ....

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Jesse

    ~~

    I wouldn't worry too much about it... it was the same groups that voted for Clinton that helped Bush win two terms

    Time to cut from the past and make a better future!

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. ElcubanitoKC

    Alan Boyer,

    "Older" voters have seen black men in leadership positions most of their lives. These "older" voters were teenagers or very young adults during the 1960s. A large group of these "older" voters helped bring about the changes that facilitated the access of black men to leadership positions. Face it, THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACE. This is about the many flaws of your candidate.

    I doubt CNN will post this, just as many others of my comments...

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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