In 2008 and 2012, the AARP Bulletin surveyed voters 50 and older to see which issues might affect their choice for president.
Among those rated "very important," job growth and rising health costs top this year's list, at 83 percent. The same issues came in at 66 percent and 79 percent, respectively, in 2008, when the national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent and the Great Recession loomed on the horizon.
Some 78 percent of older voters now see the national deficit as a very important issue (up from 69 percent in 2008), and 59 percent put the mortgage/credit crisis in the same category (up from 48 percent in 2008).
There appears to be less concern about threats from outside U.S. borders.
The issues of terrorism, immigration and America's image abroad fell from 74, 63 and 48 percent in 2008 to 65, 48 and 36 percent. And the war in Iraq? Seventy-nine percent rated it very important in 2008. With American troops out of Iraq, it wasn't offered as an issue this time around.
"Very Important" Issues in the Presidential Election
|Rising health costs
|*Social Security and Medicare
|High prescription drug costs||66||70|
|Increasing energy costs||63||69|
|Trade and globalization||41||46|
|U.S. image abroad||36||48|
|Climate change/global warming||30||44|
*Listed as "Social Security" in 2008.
** Listed as "Political ethics scandals" in 2008.
The 2012 results were taken from a survey of 1,001 adults age 18 and older conducted Jan. 17-21 by Woelfel Research.
The 2008 results were taken from a survey of 1,414 likely voters age 18 and older conducted Feb. 1-7 by Woelfel Research Inc.
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