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Power of the 50-Plus Voters: Their Political Activities & Attitudes

What issues help them decide to vote for a certain candidate?

The Power of the 50+ Voter

Part 3: Their Political Activities & Attitudes


Don’t miss below —

Part 1: Who Are They?

Part 2: How Do They Vote?

Part 4: On the Issues

Early this year, people 65 and older were twice as likely as those under 30 to be closely following campaign news (40 percent vs. 20 percent) — a much larger gap than in 2008 (when it was 39 percent vs. 31 percent). That may have lots to do, of course, with the fact that there’s no spirited Democratic primary contest this time around. Nonetheless, in both elections 50-plus voters have been the heaviest consumers of political news.

Source: “Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source,” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press,” Feb. 7, 2012.

Older voters are more likely than younger voters to say that it’s difficult to find objective, reliable information about the records and positions of political candidates. More than half of all older voters (53%) say that it’s hard to find some information, for example, while more than half of all younger voters (54%) say that it’s easy.

Source: “What the Economy Means to 50+ Voters,” AARP, July 2012.

Cable television is the leader of the pack among older Americans as a source of news about the presidential election campaign (followed, in order, by local TV, the nightly network news, local daily newspapers and the Internet).

Source: “Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source,” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press,” Feb. 7, 2012.

There’s still a wide chasm between young and old in terms of access to — and use of — the Internet, but once past that threshold the difference begins to narrow in terms of online political activity, with only a seven-percentage-point spread separating 18- to 24-year-olds and 55- to 64-year-olds.

Source: “The Internet’s Role in Campaign 2008,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2009 [based on 2008 Post-Election Survey].

Americans aren’t happy with Congress. The percentage of Americans who approve of the job Congress is doing is as low as it’s been since the Gallup poll began measuring congressional approval in 1974. Older Americans have a dimmer view of the job Congress is doing than the public at large, consistent with previous Gallup polls that show a long-term inverse relationship between congressional approval and age.

Source: Lydia Saad, “At 13%, Congress’ Approval Ties All-Time Low,” Gallup Poll: Politics, Oct. 12, 2011.

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News for the 50+ voter

Team of politics bloggers keeps tabs on the upcoming election and the hot issues for older Americans.