AARP recently commissioned a nationwide survey of likely voters before the vice presidential debate in advance of the November 2008 Presidential elections. This research describes the effect of the vice presidential choices, the favorability of the running mate picks, and the key concerns of likely voters.
Likely voters remain very concerned about economic and healthcare issues and want to hear presidential and vice presidential candidates address these issues in debates.
Survey findings include:
- Seven percent of likely voters said they changed their minds about who to vote for after vice presidential choices were announced; 31 percent said the vice presidential choice confirmed who they would vote for, and 61 percent said it did not affect their choice at all.
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of likely voters say that regardless of who wins the election, economic issues like jobs, the budget, rising prices, and taxes should be addressed by the new President in the first 100 days of his administration.
- More than two-thirds of likely voters say the upcoming vice presidential debates will be very or somewhat important in deciding for whom they plan to vote.
- More women and likely voters over age 65 say they do not yet know enough to judge which candidates would have more success at breaking through gridlock to make real progress on healthcare and the economy.
- Among those likely voters that say the vice presidential debate is important in determining their vote, forty three percent say they do not yet know enough to judge which candidates would have more success at breaking through gridlock.
The study was conducted for AARP via telephone interviews with a sample of 1,002 likely voters aged 18 and older drawn at random from across the nation. The interviews were conducted in English by Woelfel Research, Inc. from September 19 to September 25, 2008. For additional information contact Gerard Rainville at (202) 434-6295. (12 pages)