Jan 27, 2016
New Survey of Likely New Hampshire Primary Voters Reveals Democrats and Republicans Agree Candidates Should Tell Voters Where They Stand on Social Security

Concord, NH – In this polarizing election where specifics have been taking a backseat to soundbites, one issue transcends the partisan divide and unites people of all ages – Social Security. According to a new survey released today by AARP, more than nine in 10 New Hampshire primary voters across party lines and age groups say it is important for presidential candidates to lay out their plans to make Social Security financially sound for future generations. 

“New Hampshire primary voters are sending a clear message to the presidential candidates that having a plan to keep Social Security strong is a test of leadership,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Todd Fahey. “Yet, some presidential candidates are dodging the issue. Our survey confirms New Hampshire primary voters agree if a candidate thinks they’re ready to be president, they should at least be able to tell voters where they stand on Social Security’s future.”

This survey of 1,004 likely New Hampshire primary voters was conducted by telephone from January 12 through January 16, 2016. By design, half of the respondents consist of likely Democratic primary voters (501) and half consist of likely Republican primary voters (503). The survey is part of AARP’s 2016 presidential election issue campaign, Take A Stand. 

On the importance of candidates focusing on Social Security - across all age groups and party lines – the survey shows:

  • Nine in ten or more New Hampshire primary voters across party lines and age groups think it is important for presidential candidates to lay out a plan to make Social Security financially sound for future generations. This includes 93% of Democratic primary voters and 92% of Republican primary voters. In fact, regardless of age, nearly half or more of likely primary voters in each party think this is “very important.”
  • More than three in four New Hampshire primary voters, across party lines and across age groups, agree that having a plan for Social Security is a basic threshold for presidential leadership. This includes 89% of likely Democratic primary voters and 80% of likely Republican primary voters.
  • Nearly nine in ten or more voters across both parties and age groups believe it is important that the next president and congress take action to make Social Security financially sound. This includes 96% of Democratic primary voters as well as 92% of Republican primary voters.

 

“If our leaders don’t act, future generations could see their Social Security benefits cut by 25%.  That’s a $4,000 to $10,000 per year benefit cut! This survey confirms how critical it is for the next president to have a plan to update Social Security and a commitment to act on that plan,” said Fahey. 

AARP’s Take A Stand campaign is pressing every candidate to lay out their plan to update Social Security and talk to voters about what it would mean for them and their families.  AARP is holding candidates accountable to voters by directly questioning candidates at their events; pressing candidates on social media; airing television and digital advertising; mobilizing AARP members; and featuring their views on Social Security in our publications.

All plans put forward by candidates are posted on the Take a Stand website, www.2016takeastand.org.  To date, all but three of the Democratic and Republican candidates have proposed plans.

On the question of which presidential candidate they expect to vote for on February 9, the survey shows:

  • Among likely Republican primary voters, Donald Trump is the leading choice for president (preferred by 32%) with Marco Rubio preferred by 14% and John Kasich preferred by 13%.  However, more than one in four (26%) are less certain who will get their vote.
  • Among likely Democratic primary voters, Bernie Sanders is the leading choice for president (preferred by 59%), with Hillary Clinton coming in second (preferred by 33%).  However, one in five (21%) are less certain who will get their vote.

Since the November 2015 launch of Take a Stand in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, more than 500 member volunteers in these three states have been actively questioning candidates at their events; pressing candidates on social media; and engaging AARP members in the campaign.  AARP has also rolled out a multi-million dollar television and digital advertising campaign in these three states.  AARP is nonpartisan and does not support or oppose any political candidates nor contribute any money to political action committees, campaigns or super PACs. 

Survey methodology: This survey of 1,004 likely New Hampshire primary voters was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research via landline and mobile phones from January 12, 2016 through January 16, 2016. By design, half of the respondents consist of likely Democratic primary voters (501) and half consist of likely Republican primary voters (503). The margin of error for the full sample of 1,004 is +/- 3.2%, while the margin of error for each subgroup by party (Republican primary voters or Democratic primary voters) is +/- 4.5%.

 

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About AARP AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.​

CONTACT: 
Terry Banks, 202-434-2560, tbanks@aarp.org, @AARPMedia
Josh Rosenblum, 202-434-2548, jerosenblum@aarp.org, @joshuarosenblum
Jamie Bulen, 603-230-4103, jbulen@aarp.org