Older Voters Will Determine Who Wins in 2014 and 2016

Vote here sign

Voters age 50-plus decide elections. They turn out to the polls at a much higher rate than voters of any other age group, particularly for non-presidential years. And, at this point, they're up for grabs. Neither party today has a clear advantage.

One reason: Older voters are shifting back to the center, with a mere 1-point advantage separating Republicans from Democrats, according to an Economist/YouGov poll.

Another reason: Boomers. Yes, the last of the generation born between 1946 and 1964 is turning 50 this year. And they are not feeling overly optimistic, according to a new national poll sponsored by AARP and commissioned by A Woman's Nation and the Center for American Progress in connection with their project,  The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink.

At a time when "entitlement reform" and Social Security have become another bargaining chip in Washington, an increasing number of boomer-generation Americans are feeling unprepared for their own retirement. What does this mean in an election year?

Just look at Florida. All eyes are on Congressional District 13 and the fight for the seat vacated after the death of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in October. This competitive special election could signal what's to come this year from both national parties. And with 54 percent of the district age 55 and over, you can bet that older voters matter.

Candidates of both parties need to know that, in overwhelming numbers, AARP members have told us they're tired of politicians in Washington saying that the only way to save Medicare is to cut benefits or force them to pay more, and that we need to cut Social Security to reduce the deficit.

Americans have paid into Social Security and Medicare through a lifetime of hard work and deserve a voice in the debate about the future of these programs.

Strengthening Social Security and Medicare - not cutting these programs - is a top priority for both Democratic and Republican voters. In a CBS poll, 72 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats oppose Social Security cuts to reduce the deficit. The numbers are identical for Medicare - 72 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats.

As members of the boomer generation look ahead, worried about health care, savings and retirement, you can count on their determining who wins elections in 2014 and 2016.

  AARP Sponsors Debate

Tune in tonight to Bay News 9 for a live televised debate in the general election race to succeed the late Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young in Florida's Congressional District 13. Sponsored by AARP, the debate airs from 7 to 8 p.m. and will be live streamed on C-SPAN.

The Tampa Bay Times, Bay News 9 and St. Petersburg College are partnering to broadcast the debate among Republican David Jolly, Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby. The special election is March 11.

Photo via whiteafrican/Flickr

 

Also of Interest

 

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more

 

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.