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Jul 20, 2022
New AARP Poll of 56 Most Competitive Congressional Districts Shows Tight Race for Control of Congress, Voters Focused on Pocketbook Issues

WASHINGTONToday, AARP released the findings of a poll of likely voters from the 56 most competitive congressional districts for 2022. The survey found a generic Republican candidate with 4-point advantage over the generic Democratic candidate and that voters age 50 and over make up over 60% of likely voters in these districts and will likely play a key role in deciding the outcome of the midterm elections. The districts included in the survey are rated either a “toss-up” or “lean Democrat/Republican” by the Cook Political Report

“Americans age 50 and over are our nation’s most powerful voters – and they will be the deciders in the 2022 midterm elections. Voters 50+ are focused on inflation and pocketbook issues,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Candidates should pay close attention to their concerns and Congress can start by passing legislation that lowers prescription drug prices and makes health care more affordable for families.”

The survey indicates that candidates should pay close attention to voters 50+, with a significant majority (80%) saying they are extremely motivated to vote this fall. Voters 50+ are a crucial voting bloc, consistently showing up to the polls and making a key difference in election outcomes. In the 2018 mid-term elections, the 50+ made up about 60% of the electorate and they are poised to make up an even larger share of in 2022, given their greater to motivation to vote than those under 50.

Inflation and rising prices are the top concern for likely voters 18+ and 50+. Social Security, retirement savings, Medicare, the cost of prescription drugs and long-term care are also important to both voters 18+ and 50+, but particularly important to older voters, regardless of political party. A significant majority (87%) of voters are more likely to vote for someone who allows Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, including 84% of Independents and 82% of Republicans.  

View the complete survey results.

Additional Findings

  • Voters in these key House districts are very pessimistic about the direction of the country, with only 14% saying it is headed in the right direction.
  • 37% of voters 50+ approve of the job President Biden is doing compared to the 50% of voters 50+ who, in retrospect, say they approve of the job Trump did while in office.
  • Voters 50+ say Social Security (82%), Medicare (75%) and cost of prescription drugs (69%) are very important when deciding who to vote for.
  • Undecided voters 50+, who make up 11% of respondents, are most focused on economic issues for their vote, and very positive toward candidates who prioritize issues protecting older adults, such as protecting Social Security (88% more likely to vote for the candidate)) and Medicare (89%) from cuts.
  • There is significant concern among voters 50+ of all partisan stripes that both Social Security and Medicare will not be there when they need it.

AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct a survey. The firms interviewed 2,352 likely voters in the 56 US House districts that Cook Political Report rated as “Lean” or “Toss Up” as of June 29, 2022. This includes a sample of 1,200 likely voters distributed across the districts, with an oversample up to 1,200 likely voters age 50 and older distributed across the districts and additional oversamples up to 300 Hispanic likely voters age 50 and older, 300 Black likely voters age 50 and older and 300 Asian American likely voters age 50 and older, between July 5-12, 2022. The interviews were conducted via landline (30%), cellphone (35%), and SMS-to-web (35%). The margin of sampling error for the 1,200 likely voter and 50+ likely voter samples is ±2.83%; for the 300 total samples of Hispanic, Black and Asian American voters 50+ is ±5.66%. Interviews were offered in English and Spanish.


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 or follow @AARP@AARPenEspanol @AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Colby Nelson,, 202-706-8416; Emily Pickren,, 202-431-7752.