Arizona voters over the age of 50 are sharply critical of the job the federal government is doing in caring for the nation’s veterans, but they do not believe the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should be privatized, according to the results of a new Politico/AARP poll.
Sixty-two percent of age 50-plus voters say the VA is doing a bad job, 26 percent say the agency is doing a good job, and 12 percent had no opinion. At the same time, 54 percent of older Arizonans want the government to serve veterans, while only 33 percent would support privatizing those services. Arizona is one of 10 states in the United States with more than 500,000 veterans.
When asked about the specific problems plaguing Arizona veterans and active duty personnel, 77 percent of those polled said mental illness, including depression and anxiety, while 72 percent cited post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That sentiment was shared by respondents from households with a veteran or active-duty military member.
The Arizona poll is the second in a series of public opinion surveys asking voters in battleground states about their attitudes on key issues and races in the November midterm elections. AARP has partnered with Politico Magazine to illustrate how important the 50-plus voter is in determining the complexion of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as well as state contests across the nation.
Thirty-four percent of Arizona’s population is older than 50. Arizona respondents were also asked their opinions on a wide range of topics — from health care to caregiving to immigration, an issue closely watched by border state voters.
Social Security (78 percent) and health care (76 percent) are the top issues older Arizona voters are concerned about, results that mirror the first Politico/AARP survey of the Florida electorate. Medicare, national security and terrorism are also high priorities for older Arizonans.