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AARP AARP States Pennsylvania

New AARP Poll: Black Voters 50+ Say Voting Rights, Social Security, Medicare, Will Influence 2022 Vote

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CONTACT: TJ Thiessen, (202) 374-8033,

HARRISBURG, Pa. – AARP Pennsylvania recently released key findings from its second 2022 election survey that shows candidates should pay close attention to Pennsylvanians age 50 and older.  The survey also revealed that the priorities and concerns of Black voters 50 and older will likely influence the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections.

The survey also revealed that in the race for Governor, the top three areas most important among Black Pennsylvanians 50+ are voting rights, inflation and abortion access. Moreover, for the U.S. Senate race, Social Security and Medicare is the most important issue to Black voters 50+, followed by gun control, and voting rights. Regarding inflation, the cost of food, healthcare, and housing was most prominent on Black voters’ minds. 

Overall, when asked about the issues that are very important as they decide whom to vote for this November, Social Security (91%), Medicare (87%), long-term care for seniors (86%), the cost of prescription drugs (83%) are all rated as key issues.

“This poll shows just how much Black voters 50+ are watching the key issues their communities have spent decades fighting for,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. “Voting rights and America’s social safety net is top of mind for Black voters -- but with inflation and the rising costs of living squeezing all Pennsylvania households, Black voters 50+ are clearly looking for leadership with a plan. Not only do Black Pennsylvanians 50+ consistently vote, but they are incredibly motivated to vote this year and deeply understand the importance of voting. Pennsylvania’s Democratic and Republican candidates should be vying for Older Black Voters’ support.”

Among Black voters 50+, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leads State Senator Doug Mastriano (R) 85% to 9%. In the race for U.S. Senate, Lt. Governor John Fetterman (D) leads Dr. Mehmet Oz (R), 84% to 8% among Black voters 50 and older.

The survey found that the top issues for Pennsylvania Black voters 50 and older include:

  • 93% are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who supports protecting Medicare from cuts and ensures America’s seniors get the healthcare they need;
  • 90% are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who supports protecting Social Security from cuts to workers’ earned benefits;
  • 91% are more likely to support a candidate for governor who will protect low-income older Pennsylvanians from property tax increases; and
  • 91% are more likely to support a candidate for governor who will provide funding to allow seniors needing daily support to receive care at home rather than entering a nursing home.

AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct a survey. The firms interviewed 1,377 likely Pennsylvania voters, which includes a statewide representative sample of 500 likely voters, with an oversample of 550 likely voters age 50 and older and an additional oversample of 327 Black likely voters age 50 and older, between October 4-12, 2022. The interviews were conducted via landline, cell phone, and SMS-to-web. The margin of sampling error for the 500 statewide sample is ±4.4%; for the 855 total sample of voters 50+ is ±3.4%; for the 400 total sample of Black voters 50+ is ±4.9%.

For more information on how, when and where to vote in Pennsylvania, visit


About AARP AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP@AARPenEspanol @AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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