WASHINGTON, DC—In a newly released Politico-AARP poll, Pennsylvania voters age 50 and older say health care and personal finance issues will be top of mind this election season. The poll found health care (97 percent), Social Security (96 percent) and Medicare (95 percent) will be critical in determining how they vote in elections this fall and a strong majority want elected officials to take action to lower health care (92 percent) and prescription drug costs (91 percent).
“If candidates want to win on Election Day, they must pay attention to the voices of the nation’s most powerful voting group: voters age 50 and up,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “History shows older voters are a deciding factor in midterm elections and they have a lot on their minds this year. Candidates would be wise to listen to them.”
Due to cost, registered voters say that over the last year they skipped dental care or checkups (43 percent), put off or postponed getting needed health care (41 percent), relied on home remedies or over the counter drugs instead of going to the doctor (41 percent), skipped a recommended medical test or treatment (31 percent) and did not fill a prescription for a medicine (23 percent).
AARP has teamed with Politico to create a series titled “The Deciders,” which integrates original polling focused on 50-plus voters, reporting, data analysis and cutting-edge data visualization tools built by Politico’s specialized interactive team. The fourth edition in the series is focused on Pennsylvania, a key election battleground state. Other recent polls surveyed voters in Arizona, Florida, and Ohio.
The Pennsylvania poll findings include:
- A significant majority of 50-plus voters say Social Security (96 percent), health care (97 percent) and Medicare (95 percent) are “very important or somewhat important” issues as they cast their vote in November;
- Voters age 50 and older think it is “very or somewhat important” for elected officials to take action to lower health care (92 percent) and prescription drug costs (91 percent) and increase access to health care (88 percent);
- 84 percent of 50-plus voters believe increasing health insurance costs for older Americans would make insurance unaffordable for those who need it most;
- 81 percent of 50-plus voters think it is unfair to make those with pre-existing conditions pay more for their health care;
- 80 percent of 50-plus voters are “very or somewhat” concerned about heroin and opioid abuse in Pennsylvania.
The Politico-AARP poll, conducted by Morning Consult, surveyed 1,188 registered voters in Pennsylvania from October 1-2, 2018 with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. For voters 50 and older, the poll surveyed 505 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. The poll must be sourced as a Politico-AARP poll.
In addition to the Politico partnership, AARP launched “Be The Difference. Vote™,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to encourage Americans age 50-plus to go to the polls in the 2018 midterm elections. The campaign has highlighted issues of particular importance to older voters, including Medicare, Social Security, financial security, prescription drug costs and family caregiving.
AARP recently launched “Raise Your Voice,” the nation’s first comprehensive advocacy and voting app for smart speakers. The voice-enabled experience is designed to help Americans age 50-plus to use their smart speakers to engage on a range of advocacy issues, as well as in nonpartisan voter education and support.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
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