Congress – The Branch of Government Everyone Loves to Hate

Everybody hates Congress. Not exactly a news flash, is it? These days the frustration with – and outright dislike of – Congress is accepted background not only for the voting public, but also for lots of congressional candidates, who routinely disparage the performance of the government they hope to join. But there’s also evidence that voters 50 and older, in particular, are just plain fed up with government. And that dynamic could have an impact on close races this fall. …

So You Think Older Voters Know What They’re Talking About?

Older voters. What do they know? More than younger voters, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. On nearly every of a dozen questions the center posed to registered voters, people 50 and older answered correctly more often than 18- to 34-year-olds. Voters 50 and older did best in knowing basic facts about the White House and the presidential candidates. A full 87 percent, for example, could identify Joe Biden as …

Older Voters Blame Washington Gridlock for Economic Woes

Boomers are so disgusted with our stubborn political leaders that they blame them more often than they blame the economy  for their own precarious personal finances. I was amazed to learn from a new AARP survey that 78 percent of people aged 50-plus feel that Washington gridlock has harmed their money situation compared with 77 percent who cited the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The prolonged political stalemate, and growing concerns over retirement security, drove up an “Anxiety Index” that …

In the Show-Me State, Older Voters Don’t Feel So Secure About Social Security

Susan Milligan has been visiting six Election 2012 battleground states to talk with 50-plus voters for a report that will be published in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin. She posted this from Missouri. It’s easy to see why retired and semi-retired people find Columbia, Mo., so appealing. As a university town, it carries a certain aura of intellectualism and energy. It has independent bookstores, charming cafes and lots to do for a city its size. But some voters …

In Pennsylvania, Voter ID Law Threatens to Exclude Nearly 10 Percent of State’s Voters

This post was updated on July 9. Older Pennsylvanians who don’t drive could face a problem in November: They may not be able to vote. According to data released this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, more than 758,000 registered voters in the Keystone State  – some 9.2 percent of Pennsylvania’s 8.2 million voters – do not have DOT-issued ID cards. Under the state’s new voter ID law, that means they may not be able to vote. And the …

For the Obama Campaign, a Cloud with a Silver Lining

It’s a good news-bad news thing that’s got to be really frustrating for the message-makers inside the Obama campaign. Voters in the 65-and-up bracket, polls show, believe the president and the Democrats will do a better job serving older Americans and have better ideas for Social Security, Medicare and health care. But they still prefer Republican Mitt Romney. The margins are narrow all the way around, suggesting that voters 65 and older are as divided as everyone else over their …