Sep 15, 2020
New AARP Poll: 65-plus Voters May Tip the Scales in 2020
Findings Show Social Security and Medicare Transcend Party Lines

WASHINGTON—Today AARP is releasing the final piece in a series of battleground state polls of voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The first part of the series was released on Thursday, September 10. The bipartisan surveys show that voters age 65-plus could be a deciding factor in this year’s election and, even as there are strong partisan preferences, Social Security and Medicare are unifying issues for voters 50-plus.

“Concerns about the coronavirus and their health overall are driving 65-plus voters away from their natural base,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP EVP and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices transcend partisan politics and candidates need to pay attention to these issues if they want to win.”

According to the survey, former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump among 65-plus voters in eight states: Colorado (51% to 44%), Iowa (55% to 38%), Maine (62% to 32%), Michigan (57% to 39%), Montana (50% to 45%), North Carolina (52% to 45%), Pennsylvania (53% to 42%) and Wisconsin (56% to 39%). Trump leads Biden in one state: Georgia (54% to 42%). Biden and Trump are statistically tied in two states: Arizona (49% to 47%) and Florida (49% to 48%).

In five states, a majority of voters 50-plus say that they are more likely to vote for a candidate who will stand up to protect Social Security, strengthen Medicare, lower drug costs and increase protections for nursing homes. The states include:

  • Arizona: Social Security (90%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (88%) and increase protections for nursing homes (82%).
  • Florida: Social Security (88%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (88%) and increase protections for nursing homes (82%).
  • Michigan: Social Security (87%), strengthen Medicare (86%), lower drug costs (87%) and increase protections for nursing homes (83%).
  • North Carolina: Social Security (87%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (86%) and increase protections for nursing homes (81%).
  • Pennsylvania: Social Security (87%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (90%) and increase protections for nursing homes (82%).
  • Wisconsin: Social Security (87%), strengthen Medicare (88%), lower drug costs (89%) and increase protections for nursing homes (79%).

In five states, a majority of 50-plus voters say that Social Security and Medicare are important issues when deciding their vote for the U.S. Senate.

  • Colorado: Social Security (84%), Medicare (88%)
  • Georgia: Social Security (85%) and Medicare (92%)
  • Iowa: Social Security (85%) and Medicare (91%)
  • Maine: Social Security (84%) and Medicare (92%)
  • Montana: Social Security (85%) and Medicare (89%)

The bipartisan team of Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group conducted the surveys in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin between August 30 and September 8, 2020. The bipartisan team of Fabrizio Ward and Hart Research conducted the polls in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and Montana between August 30 and September 5, 2020. The full results and the methodology for each survey is available aarp.org/election2020polls

In August, AARP launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to support and protect Americans 50-plus as they vote in the 2020 elections. The campaign will help Americans over 50 votes safely, whether at home or in person. The “Protect Voters 50+” campaign will provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections, including video voters’ guides, issue briefings, direct mail, text messaging, social media and paid media.

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About AARP
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.

For further information: Colby Nelson, cnelson@aarp.org, 202-706-8416