Bill McKibben and Akaya Windwood | Older Voters Know Exactly What’s at Stake, and They’ll Be Here for Quite a While – The New York Times

Bill McKibben and 

Mr. McKibben is the founder of Third Act, a group that organizes older Americans for progressive action. Ms. Windwood is the lead adviser for Third Act.

“Is it time to call the next election “the most important in American history”? Probably. It seems like it may involve a judgment on democracy itself. Americans with a lot of history will play a key role in determining its outcome.

And judging in part by November’s midterms, they may not play the role that older voters are usually assigned. We at Third Act, the group we helped form in 2021, think older Americans are beginning a turn in the progressive direction, a turn that will accelerate as time goes on.

A lot has been written about the impact of young voters in November’s contests, and rightly so. The enormous margins that Democrats ran up among voters under 30 let them squeak through in race after race. Progressives should be incredibly grateful that the next generation can see straight through Trumpism in a way too many of their elders can’t.

But there were also intriguing hints of what looked like a gray countercurrent that helped damp the expected red wave. Yes, older people by and large voted Republican, in keeping with what political scientists have long insisted: that we become more conservative as we age. But in the 63 most competitive congressional districts, the places where big money was spent on ads and where the margin in the House was decided, polling by AARP, an advocacy group for people over 50, found some fascinating numbers.

In early summer, Republicans had a sturdy lead among older voters in 50 of those districts, up 50 percent to 40 percent. Those had Republicans salivating. But on Election Day, voters over 65 actually broke for Democrats in those districts, 49 to 46.”

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