Meet the new “agents of change”: older voters.
A recent poll conducted by Pew Research and the National Journal Congressional Connection found that 32 percent of Americans 65 and older said they would be more likely to vote for someone who had never held public office, the largest percentage of any age group. Compared to the youngest segment of voters, those age 18 to 29, the 65-plus set was also:
- twice as likely to vote for someone who has never held public office before,
- three times less likely to vote for an incumbent, and
- nearly three times less likely to vote for candidates willing to compromise on key issues.
Facts, not slogans
Though attitudes may have changed, one thing hasn’t: older people vote in greater proportion than any other age group, and they vote based on issues – not just sound bites or slogans. According to a May Census Bureau report, 72 percent of those 55 to 74 voted in the 2008 presidential election, compared with just 49 percent of those 18 to 24.
What does this mean for Massachusetts? On November 2, Bay State voters will cast their ballots in the first gubernatorial election of the new decade – and a record number of competitive seats at the State House. The stakes are higher than ever, and older voters have the power to make a difference at the polls.
AARP Massachusetts has launched a major nonpartisan voter education campaign around the race for Governor, and will publish online voter guides for state and federal races.
“As the races gear up, we must get past candidates’ rhetoric to the issues that matter to older residents and their families,” said AARP Massachusetts State Director Deborah Banda.
AARP will ask the gubernatorial candidates and candidates for state legislative offices about:
- jobs for older workers
- health care affordability
- housing and transportation
- home and community based services
- prescription drug affordability
For federal races, AARP will highlight candidate statements on:
- Social Security solvency
- the deficit and Social Security
- Medicare fraud
- access to doctors
Help ensure that older voters hear from the candidates on issues. We need volunteers to:
- ask the candidates questions at events,
- distribute voters' guides,
- help get out the vote, and more.
For more information about the campaign and volunteer opportunities, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-448-3621.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.
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