Martin Simmons: Social Security is a top issue for Florida voters in 2024
Will the Social Security bump help turn out Democratic voters?

social_security
'Any candidate who wants to be taken seriously in Florida must be unequivocal in their defense of Social Security.'

Florida is without question one of the most important states in our country’s presidential elections. Boasting an impressive 30 electoral votes, the Sunshine State is a must-win for any person looking to win the White House and lead the nation in 2025. In order to do that, however, the winning candidate must fully commit to protecting Social Security. And now that we have an unofficial presidential race between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, all eyes will be on them to defend this program millions of Floridians rely on to live healthy and comfortable lives.

Candidates make a lot of promises on the campaign trail, but it’s been made abundantly clear that in order to be taken seriously by Florida voters, it’s essential for all White House hopefuls to demonstrate their willingness to fight for Social Security. As a Floridian, I’m surely biased, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better state to spend your retirement years in than ours, and the numbers show that America agrees.

Our state has the second highest population of people 50 and over in the country, second only to California, and a large number of these people rely on or plan to rely on the Social Security benefits they spent their lives working for. According to data from the Social Security Administration, as of December 2022, there were more than 4.9 million Floridians receiving Social Security benefits. Many of those residents have retired or soon expect to do so after decades of working hard and paying into the program.

These are residents who have paid into the program during their working years and are now able to reap the benefits. Unfortunately, too often in Washington, D.C. and on the campaign trail, Social Security comes up in conversations about government funding, with politicians looking to make changes to this program claiming the need to tackle government overspending. However, Social Security is a separate, taxpayer-funded program that derives its funding from a completely different revenue stream than the general funds. Understanding this distinction, any candidate hoping to win in November must pledge to protect this program that is essential for so many people here and across America should they want to take the White House.

It’s not just the right policy, it also makes good political sense. Election polls consistently show that Americans 65 and up are some of the most likely voters, with this age group showing up in the largest number of any in the 2020 election. It’s an essential demographic all candidates must win over if they hope to become commander-in-chief.

Floridians know that in order to win the favor of voters in our state over the coming months, presidential hopefuls must be champions for Social Security – a program so many people here depend on and have rightfully earned their participation in. It’s worth noting that one of our state’s most widely-known residents, former President Donald Trump, has historically promised not to cut Social Security if he is reelected. While he recently made a comment that suggested the opposite, the former President quickly walked back that comment stating, “I will never do anything that will jeopardize or hurt Social Security or Medicare,” in an interview. President Biden also expressed strong opinions about protecting Social Security in his State of the Union address. Floridians will be paying close attention to make sure both candidates remain on the right side of this issue.

As the general election gets underway, any candidate who wants to be taken seriously in Florida must be unequivocal in their defense of Social Security. If they waver in their stance as a staunch advocate of the program, they’ll undoubtedly jeopardize their ability to carry Florida on Election Day.

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Martin Simmons is a former Santa Rosa County Republican State Committeeman.

Guest Author


One comment

  • PeterH

    March 30, 2024 at 12:57 am

    Florida residents can protect Social Security by voting Rick Scott out of office!
    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

Comments are closed.


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