With the midterm elections just 55 days away, AARP announced the results of the first in their series of national election polling of Americans aged 42 and older (boomer+ voters). Solid majorities reported they have not yet decided how they will vote for candidates in their House of Representatives race (63%) or their U.S. Senate race (56%).
"At this point in the election cycle, older voters have typically begun to make up their minds," said David Sloane, AARP Senior Managing Director of Government Relations and Advocacy. "We believe the indecision reflected in this survey is an indication that voters are still looking for clarity from the candidates on the issues that matter to them."
The national telephone survey, titled AARP Election Watch: Pulse of a Generation, was conducted in September 2006 with more than 1,000 people. Ninety percent of those respondents indicated they are already registered to vote and 84 percent are likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
The weekly AARP Election Watch: Pulse of a Generation polls will track midterm election trends, as well as taking the "pulse" of boomer+ voters on issues that are important to AARP members. This week, the survey explored the issue of identity theft and found that 83 percent of boomer+ voters are likely to vote for a candidate that supports providing more stringent laws to protect Americans from identity theft.
A September 2006 report from the AARP Public Policy Institute stated that from January of 2005 through May of 2006, 89.8 million Americans were potentially exposed to identity theft as a result of security breaches involving sensitive personal information.
"Clearly, voters are paying attention to increased reports of security breaches," said Dalmer Hoskins, AARP Managing Director of Public Policy. "And while safeguards are constantly being improved, people want their elected leaders to become actively involved in ensuring that our nation's laws protect them from these crimes with options such as credit freezes."
The AARP Election Watch: Pulse of a Generation survey also found that boomer+ voters are more likely to base their vote on one or two key issues (43%), rather than a candidate's personal qualities (34%) or political party (14%).
"Our job, as concerned citizens, is to educate ourselves on the important issues and elect people who will help pursue the right answers," said Sloane. "AARP will be educating voters across the country on issues important to our members and their families, such as lowering prescription drug costs, making Social Security solvent and making health care affordable for all Americans."
For more information or a full copy of the survey, visit www.aarp.org.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.