A new survey in AARP’s She’s the Difference series focuses on the concerns of 50+ women voters in the Granite State. Below are some key takeaways.
Women voters ages 50 and older in New Hampshire may turn out in record numbers, and they are not just thinking about themselves when they vote.
- Nine in ten (93%) women voters ages 50 and older say they will probably vote in their state’s primary election, including 80 percent who say they will definitely vote.
- 87 percent of all 50+ women voters in New Hampshire say they think about their children and future generations when they vote.
Healthcare is the Number 1 issue for older women voters in the Granite State.
- Healthcare is by far the most important issue among older women voters in New Hampshire — it was cited as the top issue facing the country by 44 percent of all women voters ages 50 and older in the state, well ahead of the environment (33%), immigration (26%), terrorism (20%), and the economy and jobs (16%).
- For many older women voters, healthcare costs are both a personal and pocketbook issue.
- Half (50%) who aren’t confident about retirement say it’s because their healthcare costs are very expensive.
- A third (33%) say they can’t afford to pay for their healthcare.
- Nearly a third (30%) say they have skipped medical care because it was too expensive.
- Only 5 percent of all women voters ages 50 and older say that the healthcare system is working “very well” overall.
- Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) of all older women voters in New Hampshire give their elected officials a D or F grade on dealing with the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs.
- Across party lines, women voters ages 50 and older in New Hampshire agree that the Number 1 reason for rising healthcare costs is drug companies charging too much for medication (52%).
On Other Priority Issues
Addressing the opioid epidemic and student debt are also important for older women voters across the political spectrum in New Hampshire.
Women voters ages 50 and older in the state are fed up with the lack of progress from leadership on these issues and are most likely to give elected officials a D or F grade on addressing the opioid epidemic (67%) and college affordability/student debt (68%).
Older women Democrats in New Hampshire stand out across party lines for their concern over the environment — not only for their own livelihoods, but for the well-being of their family and community.
- Democratic women voters ages 50 and older cite the environment and climate change as the top issue facing the country (60%) significantly more often than Independents (28%) and Republicans (5%).
- 61 percent of Democratic women voters ages 50 and older give elected officials a D or F grade on dealing with the impact of climate change on their communities.
On the Candidates
New Hampshire’s women voters ages 50 and older are looking for ethical and experienced leaders to help solve important issues facing the country.
- Among all 50 and older women voters, regardless of party affiliation, the top trait for leaders is ethical (47%) followed by trusted (34%) and intelligent (32%).
- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree that they would prefer to vote for an experienced candidate (49% among all 50+ women voters) to one that brings a fresh perspective (38%), although Independents are the most evenly split (43% experienced candidate vs. 39% fresh perspective).
The Harris Poll conducted this online and phone survey on behalf of AARP December 5–25, 2019. The sample has 751 registered women voters ages 50 and older in New Hampshire.
The data from phone and online interviews were combined and weighted to reflect known demographics. The data are weighted to the population of female New Hampshire residents ages 50 and older using population benchmarks from the Census Bureau’s March 2019 Current Population Survey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 National Health Interview Survey.
Weighting by education, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, household income, employment status, and landline/cell phone usage bring these data into line with the actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online to ensure representativeness among the online respondents.
For telephone respondents, number of phone lines, recent phonelessness, and number of adults in the household were also included to account for probability of selection. Raked weights are estimated using Random Iterative Method (RIM) weighting.
The Harris Poll. She's the Difference: New Hampshire Survey Results. Washington, DC: AARP Research, February 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00372.002