Trump-endorsed senate candidate claims nursing home residents shouldn’t be able to vote

Data shows the average nursing home resident in the US is 81 years old, just four years younger than the man who endorsed Eric Hovde: Donald Trump

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 09 April 2024 12:02 BST
Related video: Nikki Haley calls Congress ‘most privileged nursing home in the country’

A Wisconsin senate candidate, who has been endorsed by 77-year-old Donald Trump, has suggested that nursing home residents are too old to vote, new audio has revealed.

Republican Eric Hovde, 60, recently appeared on the conservative Guy Benson Show, where he was asked where he stood on Mr Trump’s ongoing conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

“I’m not going to spend my time talking about 2020,” said Mr Hovde, in audio obtained by the Heartland Signal.

“Do I believe the election was stolen? No, but did things happen in that election that were very troublesome? Absolutely, and I can point them out right here in Wisconsin. We had Zuckerbucks come into Democratic cities to push out — working with cities to push out Democratic votes.”

“Zuckerbucks” is a derogatory term used by Republican activists to refer to money that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated to local elections departments ahead of the 2020 election. Mr Zuckerberg reportedly gave $419m to two nonprofit organisations in 2020 that distributed grants to roughly 2,500 election departments which faced funding shortages after the Covid-19 pandemic.

But, as well as using the derogatory phrase, Mr Hovde also took issue with the supposed number of nursing residents who voted in the 2020 election – suggesting that they are too close to death to vote.

“We had nursing homes, where the sheriff of Racine investigated, where you had 100 per cent voting in nursing homes. Well, if you’re in a nursing home, you only have a five, six-month life expectancy,” he said.

Eric Hovde has secured the endorsement of Donald Trump (Eric Hovde campaign website)

“Almost nobody in a nursing home is in a point to vote.”

The average nursing home resident in the US is 81 years old, according to the latest available data.

That is just four years shy of the current age of the Republican presidential candidate Mr Trump – the man who has thrown his support behind Mr Hovde’s campaign.

At 77 years old, Mr Trump would actually reach the age of an average nursing home resident near the end of his second term if he takes back the White House in November.

According to, voter turnout from nursing homes in Wisconsin in the 2020 election was actually nowhere near 100 per cent – like Mr Hovde claimed – and was not out of the ordinary. Instead, turnout in nursing homes in Milwaukee County was actually around 76 per cent.

Meanwhile, a review of 2020 poll books in Dane County by the Wisconsin State Journal found just one nursing home in the state had a 100 per cent voter turnout (it had just 12 registered voters), while turnout in other facilities ranged from 42 per cent to 91 per cent.

Milwaukee Election Commission Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said this rate of voter participation is “very normal” and is “nothing alarming”.

Despite this, Mr Trump and his supporters have continued to claim that “thousands and thousands and thousands of crooked votes” came out of nursing homes in Wisconsin in 2020, relying on a disputed, partisan report by former Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman – who was hired by Republicans in the state Assembly – which claimed that “Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) unlawfully directed clerks to violate rules protecting nursing home residents, resulting in a 100% voting rate in many nursing homes in 2020, including many ineligible voters”.

Joe Biden, 81, and Donald Trump, 77, both continue to face questions over their age and cognitive ability in the run-up to the 2024 election (AP)

Mr Trump, 77, and his rival President Joe Biden, 81, both continue to face questions over their age and cognitive ability in the run-up to the 2024 election.

In February, a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur claimed that Mr Biden’s memory was “significantly limited,” adding that he did not remember what year his son, Beau Biden, died from brain cancer.

Mr Biden slammed the claims in a fiery press conference, where he sparked further questions about his memory when he appeared to confuse Mexico with Egypt – just one of many gaffes the president has made in public speeches.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s mental competency has also come into question, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously launching an “accident tracker” to catalogue the former president’s various gaffes.

In January, MrTrump appeared to mix-up his only Republican challenger Nikki Haley with former House speaker Nancy Pelosi while discussing the January 6 Capitol riots.

Mr Biden later mocked Mr Trump for the gaffe, writing on X: “I don’t agree with Nikki Haley on everything, but we agree on this much: She is not Nancy Pelosi.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in