AARP Poll Suggests Midterms Will Be Nailbiters
WASHINGTON — A new poll of likely voters in the 56 most competitive congressional districts in this year’s midterm elections found that tight races will be commonplace, with Republicans currently holding an edge over Democrats with a sizable cohort of the electorate — voters over 50.
The districts included in the AARP survey were all those rated either “lean” or “tossup” by the Cook Political Report as of June 29.
The poll found that as of that date, voters gave a generic Republican candidate a 4-point advantage over a generic Democratic candidate.
At the same time, the pollsters found that voters aged 50 and over make up roughly 60% of likely voters in these districts and that 80% of this group said they are “highly motivated” to get to the polls this year.
“Americans age[d] 50 and over are our nation’s most powerful voters and … candidates should pay close attention to their concerns,” said Nancy LeaMond, the AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer.
“Voters in this group are most focused on inflation and pocketbook issues,” she said, adding that among other things, these voters want lower prescription drug prices and for health care to be more affordable for families.
A large number of voters in these key House districts said they are very pessimistic about the direction of the country, with only 14% saying the nation is headed in the right direction.
Thirty-seven percent of voters 50 and over approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing, compared with 50% of voters 50 and up, who said they approved of the job former President Donald Trump did while in office.
When it came to deciding who to vote for, 82% said Social Security was the issue they most cared about, 75% cited Medicare and 69% pointed to the cost of prescription drugs.
Undecided voters aged 50 and over, who made up 11% of respondents, said they were most focused on economic issues for their vote, and felt very positively toward candidates who prioritized protecting older adults.
There was also significant concern among voters aged 50 and over of all partisan stripes that both Social Security and Medicare will not be there when they need it.
Complete poll results can be found here.
AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct the survey. The interviews were conducted via landline (30%), cellphone (35%) and SMS-to-web (35%) between July 5 and 12, 2022. The margin of sampling error for the 1,200 likely voters and 50+ likely voter samples is ±2.83%; for the 300 total samples of Hispanic, Black and Asian American voters 50+, ±5.66%. Interviews were offered in English and Spanish.