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New AARP Survey Shows Public Strongly Opposes Social Security Private Accounts

AARP Voter Guides for 45 Competitive Congressional Races Show Candidates Overwhelmingly Agree With the Public

A new AARP survey finds that boomer+ voters (age 42 and older) are strongly opposed to using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts. More than seven in ten of those polled (72 percent) said they oppose private accounts. Less than one in six (16 percent) of those polled said they support such accounts.

An analysis of candidate responses to the 2006 AARP Voters' Guides in 45 competitive Senate and House races reflects that candidates are hearing the public's rejection of private accounts. AARP's 2006 Voters' Guides ask candidates whether they "support or oppose using Social Security taxes to fund private accounts." Of the 20 Senate candidates in 10 of the closest races for which Guides are available, 14 (70 percent) of the candidates checked the box in opposition; only one (5 percent) candidate expressed support, while 5 (25 percent) candidates either did not check a box or respond.

Similarly, in 35 of the competitive House races, 43 (60 percent) of the candidates checked the box in opposition. Only two candidates (3 percent) expressed support, while 26 (37 percent) of the remaining candidates either did not check a box or respond at all.

The Guides also ask candidates whether they will "support or oppose a balanced Social Security plan to continue the program's guaranteed benefits for future generations." Of the 20 Senate candidates, 15 (75 percent) candidates checked the box in support, one candidate (5 percent) opposed, and 20 percent did not check a box or respond. For the House races, a total of 45 (63 percent) candidates support a balanced plan, only 1 (one percent) oppose, and the remaining 25 (35 percent) candidates either did not check a box or respond.

"It is clear from the responses to our Voters' Guides that an overwhelming majority of candidates oppose private accounts and support a balanced Social Security plan to continue this critical program for future generations," said AARP Director of Government Relations David Sloane. "These candidates have committed to strengthening and preserving Social Security, and voters will expect that they follow through on their promises if elected to office."

For a complete listing of the competitive 45 races for which we have Voters' Guides, and the candidates' complete responses to the Social Security questions, including additional comments they may have made, please visit:

Also, to view all the complete 2006 AARP Voters' Guides, please visit

The Election Watch survey was commissioned earlier this month as a national telephone survey of 1,503 individuals age 42 and older. The survey is the seventh in a series of nine scheduled for release each week leading up to the mid-term elections. AARP wanted to take the pulse of the public's opinion on issues that our members have indicated they want to hear about in the national and state public discourse.

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 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.

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