Asian American voters age 50-plus cited health care (93%) as the most important election issue this November, according to two recent national AARP surveys exploring their priorities and concerns. Jobs and the economy (89%) ranked a close second.
Older Asian American voters are also very concerned about the coronavirus pandemic. As these voters have experienced the pandemic's social and emotional impact, health care has become increasingly important as a voting issue, and they have a sense of insecurity about the economy, their health, freedom from discrimination, elections, and voting.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March, 58% of Asian American voters 50-plus said that addressing the coronavirus was extremely or very important to them and their community.
By late summer and into fall, many were still concerned about the impacts of the pandemic: Seven out of ten (72%) Asian American voters 50-plus worry often about job loss and employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic; nearly half (48%) worry often about not being able to receive access to health care; and 45% worry about experiencing hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination.
- On issues that affect them personally or their community, Asian American voters 50-plus cited the following as extremely or very important to them: Securing the future of Social Security (83%) and Medicare (78%), lowering health care costs (78%) and prescription drug costs (77%), and having enough retirement savings (76%).
- 46% are concerned about election interference in 2020, while 40% worry about their health and safety at the polls.
- Slightly more Asian American voters 50-plus plan to go to the polls in person, either early (14%) or on election day (37%), than those who plan to vote by mail or absentee ballot (46%).
- Most survey participants (76%) receive information to help guide their voting decisions from media news outlets and talk shows, followed by candidate debates and town halls (50%).
The two primary data sources for this analysis are
2020 Asian American Voter Survey (AAVS), conducted July through September 2020 by AAPI Data on behalf of AARP, APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, subsample of n=733 voters age 50-plus.
National Survey of Older Voters During COVID-19: Asian Americans, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of AARP in March 2020, oversample of n=583 Asian American voters age 50-plus. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00390.003
Houghton, Angela. Asian American Voters Age 50-Plus: Mindsets and Priorities in 2020, Washington, DC: AARP Research, October 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00413.001
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On the Minds of Older Voters
Older voters worry most about how divided America and Americans have become, prices rising faster than their income, and not being able to afford health care.