Poll shows voters ages 50+ were instrumental in Dems retaking the House

November 26, 2018
By AARP
 
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released the findings of a nationwide poll of general election voters, along with oversamples in both 39 GOP-held seats that flipped to a Democrat and 37 GOP-held seats targeted as competitive by the Cook Political Report that held for the GOP.

The bipartisan poll, fielded jointly by Fabrizio Ward and Benenson Strategy Group, found that, for 50-plus voters, Social Security, Medicare, and health care were the top issues driving them to the ballot box. The 2,800-voter survey also indicated 50-plus voters across the board are concerned about gridlock in Washington and prefer candidates who will work in a bipartisan manner.

“Older Americans were crystal clear that health care was the most important issue in this election,” said John Hishta, AARP Senior Vice President of Campaigns. “They want Congress to come together to find commonsense solutions to lowering health care costs and they can start by preventing drug companies from price gouging older Americans and all taxpayers.”

“Fifty plus voters chose Donald Trump by a wide margin two years ago. This year they were instrumental in Democrats retaking the House. They have become a formidable swing voting block for 2020,” said Tony Fabrizio, Fabrizio Ward.

“This election made it clear that candidates and parties can't build a winning-coalition without older Americans – or take their vote for granted.” said Amy Levin, Partner Benenson Strategy Group.

Other poll findings include:

  • For 50-plus voters, concerns about Social Security (83 percent), Medicare (79 percent) and health care (79 percent) influenced their votes;
  • In GOP-held districts that Democrats flipped, 63 percent of 50-plus voters want elected officials to work in a bipartisan manner. For districts the GOP held, 65 percent of voters felt the same way;
  • Women over 50 were also instrumental in the Democratic gains – they favored a Democrat for House by 12 percent in the districts Democrats flipped;
  • In districts the GOP held, 55 percent of 50-plus voters approve of President Trump’s policies and 38 percent approve of him personally;
  • In districts Democrats flipped, 52 percent of 50-plus voters approve of the president’s policies but only 32 percent approve of him personally.

Benenson Strategy Group, in conjunction with Fabrizio Ward, conducted a nationwide telephone survey of 2,800 2018 General Election voters from November 7-10, 2018. The margin of error (MOE) for the national component of the survey is +/- 3.46 percent; the MOE for the 39 GOP-to-Democrat seat component is +/- 3.06 percent; and the MOE for the GOP-held seat component is +/-3.14 percent.

View the poll results here.

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