Voters age 50 and older were the deciding factor in last year’s midterm elections, according to the National Election Pool Exit Poll results. The findings confirmed that 50-plus voters made up the majority of voters in Pennsylvania (57%) and 56 percent nationally. Candidates who ignored older voters, Pennsylvania’s most powerful voting group, paid a price on Election Day.
Older voters held candidates accountable for not finding common ground on the issues that matter to them and their families. What they care about here in Pennsylvania is the future of Social Security and Medicare, reducing health care costs, saving for retirement and helping family caregivers–and they made their voices heard last year. Exit polling found that 53% of older voters in Pennsylvania cited health care as the most important issue facing the country over other issues such as the economy, gun control and immigration.
Older voters remain concerned about health care including pre-existing conditions, the cost of prescription medications, and the future of Medicare. A significant majority of older voters (68%) in Pennsylvania say the health care system in the United States needs major changes. But older voters also understand that complex issues require thoughtful, bipartisan solutions. For them, putting aside partisan bickering and forging a consensus is the only way forward.
Elected officials are wise to act on the issues important to older voters in Pennsylvania. Just as they did last year, elected officials can count on older voters showing up in force in the next election – and every election.