Las Vegas, Nevada - With only 30 days until Nevada’s caucuses, AARP members identifying themselves as likely caucus goers still indicate they are not yet settled on their candidate preferences, and the issues of health and financial security will weigh on their caucus decisions.
The second Divided We Fail issues survey, released today, results indicate many AARP members are still in flux regarding their candidate preferences and that for many their decision about the candidates is likely to change as they learn more about the issues and candidates.
“Nevadans of both parties are studying the race leading up to our January 19 caucus closely,” said Barry Gold, manager of the Divided We Fail effort in the state. “They are concerned about the direction of the country and are aware that this election will make a difference.”
The survey focuses on AARP member perceptions of the candidates and where those candidates stand on the Divided We Fail issues of health care and financial security.
Among potential Democratic participants, 58 percent say they’re at least somewhat likely to change their choice as they learn more about the issues between now and the caucus (35 percent “somewhat likely” and 23 percent “very likely”). The figure is higher among Republicans, where more than three-quarters, or 76 percent, are at least somewhat likely to change their preference (44 percent “somewhat likely” and 32 percent “very likely”).
Results show more than nine in 10 say issues related to financial security such as Social Security, incentives for savings and investment, and pension protection will be important in making their 2008 voting decision. More than eight in 10 say health care will be important to those decisions. This is echoed in responses to a question about the most important issue facing the country in which health care and the economy/jobs are among the top three domestic issues for respondents from both parties.
“AARP members are concerned about these critical domestic issues,” said Gold. “This survey indicates they are watching and listening closely to what the candidates say about addressing these concerns.”
AARP and Divided We Fail are also helping bridge members’ need for information with publication of new In Their Own Words, a 20-page pamphlet that contain candidates’ quotes about their positions on the issues. Prior to publication, each candidate was asked to review their statements to ensure their accuracy. In December, AARP began mailing In Their Own Words publications to more than 72,285 AARP Nevada members, self- identified as likely caucus-goers. The candidate quotes on health care are also included in the December issue of the AARP Bulletin, which is mailed to all 327,000 AARP members in Nevada and more than 39 million AARP members across the country. The information is also posted online at www.aarpbulletin.org.
Telephone interviews were conducted with 501 Nevada AARP members expected to attend a Republican caucus and 504 Nevada AARP members expected to participate in a Democratic caucus. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, membership organization. The full survey report is available at www.dividedwefail.org.