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AARP TO CANDIDATES: TELL VOTERS HOW YOU WILL HELP VIRGINIA’S FAMILY CAREGIVERS

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RICHMOND – More than 1 million Virginians are unpaid caregivers, caring for a family member at home. A recent AARP Virginia survey shows that strong majorities of Virginia voters support proposals that would support family caregivers, including paid family leave and a state tax credit. Support for both proposals is strong among voters across the political spectrum, and especially with women and younger voters.

As part of its long-standing, nonpartisan work to have candidates discuss their plans on important issues, AARP Virginia asked likely voters age 18 and older about their concerns about nursing home safety. The survey was conducted in August by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University.

Nearly half of the voters surveyed said they are currently a family caregiver or have been in the past. Individuals age 50-64 are the most likely to have been a caregiver at some point in their lives (58%). To support caregivers, voters expressed overwhelming (73%) support for providing workers with paid family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, and 82% saying they support a tax credit for family caregivers to help offset the expenses they pay in caring for their loved ones.

“Almost all of us have been, will be, or will need a family caregiver, but for too many elected officials, we’re hiding in plain sight,” said Jim Dau, AARP Virginia State Director. “Voters want their leaders to recognize—and more importantly support—family caregivers for their service and sacrifice.”

Strong majorities of liberals (89%), moderates (74%), and conservatives (61%) support paid family leave for caregivers. Support is highest among women (79%) and younger voters (77%).

With even higher levels of agreement, the proposed family caregiver tax credit is supported by more than three-in-four conservatives (77%). Support is nearly identical among voters in urban (80%), suburban (82%) and rural (82%) communities.

In Virginia, there are approximately 1 million caregivers who provide an estimated 870 hours of unpaid care per year, valued at about $11.2 billion, according to a 2019 AARP Public Policy Institute report.

In addition to releasing these survey findings, AARP Virginia this week will engage voters and candidates with social media efforts that highlight the need to help family caregivers as an election issue. AARP Virginia is also reaching out to voters with information and resources to help them vote safely, which can be found at www.aarp.org/VaVotes.

With approximately 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50+ and their families in the Commonwealth. AARP does not endorse or contribute money to candidates, political parties, or campaigns.

Survey Methodology

The results of this poll are based on 800 interviews of registered Virginia voters who are likely general election voters, including 277 on landline and 523 on cell phone, conducted August 15-23, 2021. A likely general election voter is one who has voted in at least two of the last four general elections or is newly registered in the last 12 months and indicates they are enthusiastic and plan to vote in the upcoming November 2 election. The margin of error for the whole survey is +/-3.6% at the 95% level of confidence. This means that if 50% of respondents indicate a topline view on an issue, we can be 95% confident that the population’s view on that issue is somewhere between 46.4% and 53.6%. The margin of error for subgroups may be higher. All error margins have been adjusted to account for the survey’s design effect, which is 1.1 in this survey. The design effect is a factor representing the survey’s deviation from a simple random sample and takes into account decreases in precision due to sample design and weighting procedures. In addition to sampling error, the other potential sources of error include non-response, question wording, and interviewer error. Percentages may not equal 100 due to rounding. The response rate (AAPOR RRI Standard Definition) for the survey was 12%. Five callbacks were employed in the fielding process.

Live calling was conducted by Dynata. The data reported here are weighted using an iterative weighting process on region, age, race, sex, and education to reflect as closely as possible the population of Virginia’s November 2, 2021 electorate.

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 www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media. ​

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