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
- 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 New Jersey? On November 2, Garden State voters will cast their ballots for their members of Congress. The stakes are higher than ever, and older voters have the power to make a difference at the polls.
AARP New Jersey has launched a major nonpartisan voter education campaign around the race for Congress, and will publish online voter guides for these federal races.
For federal races, AARP will publish candidate statements on:
- Social Security solvency
- the deficit and Social Security
- Medicare fraud
- access to doctors
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.
Portrait of the 50+ Voter