Older Americans are gaining wider influence in elections. Census numbers show that for the first time, Americans 45 and older make up a majority of the voting-age population.
This comes as the U.S. debates efforts to cut back Medicare and other benefits for seniors.
As a whole, the numbers point to a rapidly graying nation driven largely by the nation's 78 million baby boomers, who are now between the ages of 46 and 65 and looking ahead to retirement. This could be a test of whether politicians who favor reducing services get hurt politically.
Currently, there are roughly 119 million people 45 and older who make up 51 percent of the voting-age population.
©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.