Seniors are vital to elections and that means Medicare and Social Security rank high on their list of issues. When we asked readers to send us the issues they care about most, the number of responses we got on Medicare and Social Security were second only to health care (and of course the issues go hand and hand). PBS News Hour wrote:

More likely to vote than younger age groups, nearly 40 percent of the voters in the 2014 midterms were aged 60 or older, according to Democrat pollster Celinda Lake. And for many years, the leading issues for those older voters in both parties have included protecting Social Security and Medicare.

For more proof these issues matter, take a look at the story out of West Virginia. Politico points out the state of Medicare and Social Security may help Democrat Joe Manchin keep his Senate seat:

Facing some of the toughest campaigns of their careers, the West Virginia Democrat and his moderate colleagues believe they’ve received an unexpected gift from the Senate GOP leader. In a triumphant post-Kavanaugh media tour last week, the Kentucky Republican waxed about his regret over the missed opportunity to repeal Obamacare and the need to reform entitlement programs to rein in the federal deficit.

Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are vital to West Virginia. And in an interview on Saturday as he prepared for the annual Apple Harvest Parade, Manchin called McConnell’s comments “absolutely ridiculous” and said his Republican opponent, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, would vote to curtail benefits “in a heartbeat.” 

Democrats all over are using the issue to rally the base. With Senator Cory Booker tweeting, “This is what’s at stake in the critical midterm election: your health care, your Medicare, and your Social Security.”

Here’s what some News and Guts readers told us as well:

Rowan Moonstone (Colorado Springs, CO) As a Senior, I’m very concerned about my Social Security and Medicare. SS is ALL I live on and if it evaporates, I’m out in the street. I went for 10 years with NO health insurance and Medicare is my lifeline.

Gina Marie (Taunton, MA) Medicare and Social Security are my main worry. My mom is 85, and I want her to have all that she’s worked for. No seniors should have to wonder about money.

Joe Packard (Lake Wylie, SC) Please stop referring to my entitlement to Social Security as a handout or a government-provided benefit! I paid the money for forty + years. I think of it as an interest-free loan that allowed the government the opportunity to use that money to invest and make a small profit on it for all those years. Now, I’m calling in my loan. I expect to be paid, based on the formulas and ratios defined and put in place by my government. And yes, promised to me as I paid all that money in.

I will not sit idly by, while the McConnels and Grahams of this world try to make it look like it’s free money and we should be happy with and settle for what they give us. These @$$#0|3$ put us in the debt we are in now because of the mismanagement of the US budget and the catering to interest groups donating to allow these “representatives” to do anything other than represent us.

Kate Denker Johnson (Freemont, NE) I am a 60-year-old widow that depends on my late husbands Social Security to get by. And I just barely get by right now. I worry that I could lose my apartment if the GOP cuts Social Security and other programs. It is not my fault that my husband died. Why am I being punished for it?

Kat Patrick (Central TX) Cruz in Texas is replying to constituents’ concerns about social security with a letter containing a clear aim to scrap it. Scared now?