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The Senior Vote: Voting Bloc split GOP vs Democrats but Seniors United on Fighting Tax Increases

September 25, 2018

It’s no secret that Colorado’s population is getting older. Our state’s aging population has been covered in news stories and data analysis by everyone from the Denver Post to the US Census Bureau and with good reason. Over the next 15 years, the number of people in Colorado age 65 or older is expected to more than double, creating a high demand for senior living facilities. Colorado is a sought-out destination for retirees,” says Christian Living Services, “The people of Colorado want to bring their parents here. There are 300 days of sunshine, active living culture with high levels of civic and community engagement. Colorado is one of the nation’s top markets for future growth of senior housing.”

Seniors are also a very sought after voting bloc. Fiscally they lean conservative because they are on fixed incomes. Moreover, most seniors have a a significant distrust that the politicians will actually put the tax dollars to where they say it is going so they vote down tax increases for 2 chief reasons.
1.) They simply can't afford it.
2.) They continually read about intensifying financial scandals and corruption. Simply summarized:
They have no faith that ballot initiatives increasing taxes will actually do what they are promoted to do.
 

 















   Senior Residents Typically Vote Down Initiatives that Carry any Tax Increase

People in Retirement Homes vote as much as 4.5 out of 5 residents as reported by recent exit polling at Holly Creek and Clermont Park Christian Living Community Retirement Homes.

Many Conservative groups throughout Colorado are gearing up to use "old school" and emerging digital technologies to tap into the extraordinary power of this Senior Voting Bloc.  Jason Blumenthal with #UnRigTheSystem states, "We're using powerful new era technologies to engage seniors including FB and text marketing. Seniors enjoy and welcome being contacted because they often feel isolated. They are unlike some other demographics who see dozens of ad impressions per day, they may only see 2 or 3 text messages per week." Here is another interesting data point. Seniors are in touch with their financial managers on a regular basis and new data is showing that the wealth managers encourage them to vote down ballot initiatives that carry any tax increase. If I had to speculate it is precisely because the wealth managers want their senior clients to have as much discretionary cash as possible, after all they are on commission for each trade or transaction. We uncovered one digital campaign originating out of Colorado Springs titled "enough is enough" and reportedly it used very powerful content and imagery to scare seniors on a ballot initiative to raise taxes on a popular school bond that everyone thought would blow past the checkered flag...unfortunately the bond failed by a very slight margin.

Other favorable quality of life trends are changing for senior life as well.

We visited with several architectural firms about their design approach surrounding the blueprint for senior care facilities and many are emphasizing creating vibrant, warm and inviting living areas because in the past the institutional and overwhelming sterile and chemical smell (known as the smell of death) frightened children and families from visiting elderly relatives.

The entire approach has changed from a "nursing warehouse" complex to promoting health and wellness almost like you are marketing to millennials. Yoga Rooms, Open Floor Plans, Spas, and other amenities are part of the recruitment strategy, design and treatment planning. Programming includes increasing engagement with Non Profits, rides to Churches and rides to vote.

 

The senior voting bloc is fired up to engage in civic and political activity. Seniors are split in regards to left wing vs right wing but are overwhelmingly voting down ballot items that include any sort of tax increase.



Sources -Why is Colorado Aging so Quickly, State of Colorado Dept of Local Affairs -Christian Living Communities https://www.christianlivingcommunities.org/
 

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