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Power of the 50-Plus Voters: On the Issues

Is unemployment a top issue in November?

The Power of the 50+ Voter

Part 4: On the Issues

 

Don’t miss below —

Part 1: Who Are They?

Part 2: How Do They Vote?

Part 3: Their Political Attitudes & Activities

Majorities in all age groups say that maintaining current Social Security and Medicare benefits is more important than reducing the deficit. On the deficit-reduction front, the rule seems to be: The older you are, the less important the issue is to you.

Source: “Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits,” The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, July 7, 2011.

When it comes to health care, no single issue stands out as dominant in the 2012 election season — until you look specifically at people 65 and older. At that point, Medicare rises to the No. 1 spot among health-related issues.

Source: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2012.

Is Medicare a “litmus test” issue? That seems to be the case for a little less than a fourth (23 percent) of the voting-age population, who say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on Medicare. That percentage jumps among Americans 65 and older — the slice of the population eligible for Medicare.

Source: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Feb. 2012.

Little surprise that the strongest opposition to cuts in Medicare comes from beneficiaries of the program. In no age group, however, does the proportion of people who would support major reductions in Medicare rise above 13 percent.

Source: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll [Table 3], The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Feb. 2012.

When asked to rate the condition of the nation’s economy, older voters are much more likely than younger voters to believe the worst.

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

More than three-quarters of all older voters say that “political gridlock in Washington” has negatively affected their personal economic circumstances, and 44 percent say it’s affected them “a great deal.”

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

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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.