RALEIGH – Early voting begins this week and older voters have concerns about the U.S. Senate candidates’ positions on the issues important to the 50+ population in North Carolina. AARP members have expressed that they need to know more from candidates regarding where each of them stands on a variety of issues.
Today AARP North Carolina President Robert Palombo sent hundreds of “What I Want to Know” postcards directly to the campaign offices of Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis where Voters across the Tarheel state have written down the questions they hope the candidates will answer in more detail between now and Election Day. The candidate’s responses may determine who many undecided voters support in November.
Robert Palombo said, “This year older adults will be voting for financial security. There is too much anxiety among the 50 plus about whether or not their retirements will be secure. That makes issues like health care costs, keeping Social Security strong, protecting older workers and support for family caregivers vitally important to undecided voters.”
Palombo added, “Questions like ‘How would you keep Social Security and Medicare strong without cutting any benefits,’ and ‘what do you propose doing to control high prescription drug and health care costs,’ were asked most frequently. Other common questions included those about senior housing, transportation, hunger and nutrition, veterans’ issues, equal pay and education.
A non-partisan AARP North Carolina survey of over 800 likely voters over age 50, conducted in July 2014, found that across party lines, older voters, and particularly those who are not yet retired, feel anxious about their financial security. Voters 50+ worried most about:
- Costs rising faster than incomes (55%)
- Health expenses (49%),
- Paying too much in taxes (60%),
- Not having enough to pay for care for a spouse who needs assistance with daily activities (44%) and,
- Not having financial security in retirement (46%).
Through AARP Voters Guides, candidates in NC’s U.S. House and Senate races were given an opportunity to share their positions on these key issues. But according to Palombo, “when it comes to building a sound future, political ads and campaign sound bites are not enough. Older voters want real details about solutions to the bread and butter issues that have created much uncertainty about retirement security.”