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She's The Difference: The Power of Older Woman Voters

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New AARP Poll Finds 95% of Older Women Will Vote in 2020, 7 in 10 Haven’t Made Up Their Mind

Findings Show Women 50-plus Are Concerned about Health Care, Drug Prices and Economy

WASHINGTON—Today AARP released the findings of a nationwide poll that explores the priorities and concerns of a key group of voters that could help determine the 2020 presidential election and races across the country: women age 50 and over. The new survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, found that 95% of women plan to vote in 2020, but nearly 7 in 10 have not decided who they will vote for.

The new poll surveyed 3,151 self-identified registered voters age 50 and over, with a sample of 1,924 women. It is the first survey in AARP’s “She’s the Difference” series that will run throughout the 2020 cycle.

“Women age 50 and over plan to turnout in force in 2020, and they are not a lock for either party,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “As the 2020 campaign heats up, candidates would be wise to listen to older women voters and address the issues they care about. History shows older women make a difference in elections and candidates ignore them at their peril.”

The poll findings include:

  • Nearly all women 50-plus (95%) are likely to vote in the 2020 election – but nearly 7 in 10 (69%) haven’t decided who they’ll vote for. African-American women (74%) and Hispanic women (70%) are even less likely to have decided who they’ll vote for.
  • Women 50-plus give our country’s leaders failing grades on solving the issues that matter most to them and their families: the high costs of healthcare and prescription drugs (46%), the opioid epidemic (36%), prices rising faster than income (34%), college affordability and student debt (32%), and the future of the Social Security system (30%).
  • Over half (55%) have an unfavorable view of national leadership – Congressional Republicans, Congressional Democrats, and the President.
  • Nearly half of older women voters (45%) prefer to vote for an experienced candidate over one that brings fresh perspective (32%).
  • Many older women continue to struggle with the cost of healthcare, and it is their top-of-mind issue as they go to the polls: nearly 7 in 10 feel older people pay too much for healthcare compared to others, nearly 4 in 10 cannot afford to pay for their healthcare and nearly 3 in 10 have had to skip medical care because it was too expensive.
  • Overall, older women are more likely to say the economy is on the wrong track (48% of women vs. only 35% of men), and feel the economy isn’t working for them personally (37% of women vs. only 23% of men).

View the poll results here.

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of AARP from November 8-25, 2019, among age 50-plus, self-identified registered voters. The data are weighted to the U.S. population age 50-plus using population benchmarks from the Census Bureau’s March 2018 Current Population Survey. Weighting by education, gender by age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, census division, household income, household size, and employment status bring these data into line with the actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online to ensure representativeness among this non-probability sample. In keeping with standards set by American Association for Public Opinion Research, The Harris Poll does not estimate margin of error for representative online samples.

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