Alert
Close

Tell the U.S. Department of Labor to Close the Retirement Loophole! Learn more

Highlights

Open
Military and Veterans Discount

Contests and
Sweeps

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

 

Free AARP E-Books

Protecting Yourself Online for Dummies

Here's the mini guide you need to steer through the hazards with confidence.

Learn More

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

             

AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

News & Politics Forums

Share your opinions on news and current events that matter most to you.

Join the discussion »

AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

America's Angry Older Voters

They're leading the bad-mood brigade that would throw the bums out

Americans are even angrier than usual at Congress, President Obama and pretty much anyone else holding elected office.

And older Americans are leading the bad-mood brigade, driven by economic and market turmoil, an ugly summer slugfest over the debt ceiling, threats to retiree financial and health programs, and general angst.

See also: Medicare, Medicaid on the table.

"It's an American tradition: When things are bad, you throw the rascals out," says Stephen Hess, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and a former adviser to Presidents Ford and Carter.

A recent USA Today/Gallup poll set a new record for discontent. A record low of 21 percent of registered voters polled said they thought most members of Congress should be reelected.

Obama's approval rating also hit a new low of 39 percent earlier in August, according to Gallup tracking polls.

"There's a rather nasty mood out there," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Quinnipiac's July poll showed Obama's approval ratings lower by two percentage points among Americans 55 and older, compared with all ages. The approval figures for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress also were slightly lower among those 55-plus, as compared with voters of all ages.

"There's a pattern. The older people are, the more frustrated people are, and the less supportive they are of both Congress and the president," Brown says.

A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll released Thursday showed older people were less inclined to vote for Republicans and Democrats in Congress or for Obama than voters of all ages.

Older Americans tend to be more politically engaged, so phenomena such as anger at incumbents is "amplified" among them, Hess says.

The voter angst has even trickled down to disapproval of governors and other state-level politicians. "When Washington gets a cold, states get pneumonia, and the localities often die," says Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Next: Anger over economy sets the tone. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

membership benefit financial college aarp

Advice on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can earn 3% cash back on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advertisement