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Voters Ages 50+ and the 2016 Election

En español | This national survey of likely voters ages 50+ examines voters’ views on the future of Social Security, presidential leadership and the 2016 election and their personal finances.

Key findings include:

  • Leadership is an especially important quality that voters ages 50+ seek in a presidential candidate.  Nearly nine in ten (86%) consider it to be a “very important” quality, including 89% of African American/Blacks and 81% of Hispanics.

  • More than eight in ten (82%), including 85% of African Americans and 83% of Hispanics, say that having a plan for Social Security is a basic threshold for presidential leadership.

  • More than nine in ten (95%) voters ages 50+, including 96% of African Americans and 97% of Hispanics, say that it is important that presidential candidates lay out their plans to update Social Security for future generations.

  • Seven in ten voters ages 50+ say that it would be “very helpful” in their vote decision to learn about a presidential candidate’s plans for Social Security, including 82% of African Americans and 72% of Hispanics.

  • Less than a quarter (22%) of voters ages 50+ are very satisfied with their retirement savings and nearly 4 in 10 (37%) are somewhat or very dissatisfied with their retirement savings.

  • Approximately half of voters ages 50+ (49%) describe themselves as “worried/concerned” about being able to achieve their economic and financial goals over the next five years or so, including 40% of African Americans and 43% of Hispanics.

  • More than seven in ten (71%) voters ages 50+, including 56% of African Americans and 60% of Hispanics, feel that their personal finances have been negatively affected by gridlock in Washington.

This survey of 1,659 registered voters ages 50+ who are likely to vote in the November 2016 election was conducted by telephone, via landline and cell phones, for AARP by Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group from February 27, 2016 through March 6, 2016.  The total sample of 1,659 included oversamples of Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans/Blacks for a total of 427 interviews with Hispanics/Latinos and 420 interviews with African Americans/Blacks.   All media inquiries about this report should be directed to (202) 434-2560.  For all other questions, contact S. Kathi Brown, AARP Research, at


Suggested Citation:

Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group. Voters Ages 50+ and the 2016 Election. Washington, DC: AARP Research, April 2016.

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