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The Power of 50+ 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 that the older you are, the less important the issue is to you.

 


Source: “Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits,” Pew Research Center, 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, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2012.

Some 67 percent of Americans say that benefit cuts should not be an option when thinking about the long-term future of Social Security, with just 31 percent saying that some reductions for future retirees need to be considered. The gap is narrowest among younger adults and widens with increasing age.


Source: “Political Polarization in the American Public,” Detailed Tables (Table 4.8: Future of Social Security), Pew Research Center, June 2014.

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 vote only 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, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2012.

It’s 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, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2012.

Do you think the federal government should guarantee health care coverage for all Americans? Your answer, surveys show, may well be shaped by how old you are.

 


Source: “Political Polarization in the American Public,” Detailed Tables (Table 4.7: Government Role in Health Care), Pew Research Center, June 2014.

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 that it’s affected them “a great deal.”

 


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

More Slideshows

Part 1: Who Are They?

Part 2: How Do They Vote?

Part 3: Their Political Attitudes & Activities

 

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