Younger people also are being enlisted by the Democrats in going after the elderly. The Obama campaign announced a new e-card effort asking young supporters to send messages to their parents and grandparents telling them their Social Security and other benefits are at risk under Republican plans.
Seniors, like people in most demographics, are largely decided on who they'll vote for in the election. So making sure supporters turn out at the polls is important for both campaigns. Nationally, the 65+ population votes at a higher rate than any other age group.
Florida has a higher proportion of people 65 and older than any other state, and its total population of nearly 3.3 million seniors is second only to California. An estimated 68 percent of seniors in Florida voted in the 2008 presidential election.
A national Associated Press-GfK poll earlier this month found 52 percent of seniors supported Romney compared to 41 percent for Obama. But Democrats have sought gains among seniors by criticizing Romney's plan for Medicare, and a Pew poll released last week showed older voters who rate Medicare as a very important issue supported Obama by a substantial margin.
Zeldon said the resurgence of the Medicare issue has given an opportunity to Obama with older voters.
"He sees them as a vulnerable population for the Republicans," Zeldon said. "When they raised the issue of Medicare, they gave the Democrats a gift, because it allows them to give their ideas about Medicare and it's an easier sell."
Associated Press writers Curt Anderson in Florida and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
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