Obama's Edge With Centenarians


Stepping Into Political Spotlight

The exclusivity of the centenarian class has made its members' involvement in the 2012 presidential race among the noteworthy moments of the campaign.

The Obama campaign has begun promoting the support it has from centenarian voters, using a new web video to highlight the story of one 106-year-old voter – Margaret Harris of Springfield, Ky.

Behind the scenes, the president has even been known to solicit a little advice from his most senior campaign fans.

Wilbur and Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, one of the longest-wed couples in America at 79 years, waited on line for hours to see the president at a Nevada event in March. "You gotta tell me your secret for staying married for 79 years," Obama said upon greeting Wilbur Faiss, 100.

"You should know what it is," Faiss quipped back, with wife Theresa, 96, by his side.

"Just do what she tells you to do?" Obama asked.

"No," said Faiss sternly. "Compromise!"

Shifting Political Allegiances

Pew forecasts that a dominant Democratic inclination among today's oldest voters will likely give way to a more right-leaning outlook over the next few years with rise of a new generation that came of age politically during Republican presidencies.

These members of the so-called Silent Generation, informed by the politics and policies of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, are already showing a tendency to vote more Republican than average, too, Pew says. For now, however, it's the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that underpins the allegiances of many in the 100-year-old-plus group.

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