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AARP Georgia Poll: 50+ Voters May Tip the Scale in Senate Runoffs

The poll found majorities of Republicans and Democrats age 50 and over are more likely to vote for a candidate advocating for policies favoring older Americans, like using Medicare’s buying power to help lower drug prices. What other issues did they say top their lists and which candidates are leading among the 50+ crowd right now?

AARP Georgia recently released a new survey of likely Georgia voters showing both U.S. Senate races statistically tied, with Democrat Jon Ossoff (48%) narrowly leading Republican incumbent David Perdue (46%) and Democrat Raphael Warnock (47%) edging Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler (46%). But among voters age 50-plus, the poll shows both the Republican candidates lead their Democratic challenger by identical margins, 53% for Perdue and Loeffler versus 42% for Ossoff and Warnock.  Just 5% are undecided.

Further, the poll found majorities of Republicans and Democrats age 50 and over are more likely to vote for a candidate advocating for policies that protect older Americans, like using Medicare’s buying power to help lower drug prices. The survey was conducted on behalf of AARP by the bipartisan team of Fabrizio Ward and Hart Research Associates between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, 2020.

“These results show that both races are a dead heat and time is running out for candidates to address the concerns of 50-plus voters,” said AARP Georgia State Director Debra Tyler-Horton. “To win, candidates must discuss the issues that matter to 50-plus Georgians now – like preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, lowering drug prices and protecting seniors in nursing homes.”

Georgia’s 50-plus voters from both parties said they are much more or somewhat more likely to support a Senate candidate who advocates to:

  • Allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies (Republicans 93%, Democrats 94%)
  • Protect Social Security (Republicans 90%, Democrats 93%)
  • Protect Medicare (Republicans 83%, Democrats 96%)
  • Increase protections for nursing home residents during COVID-19 (Republicans 79%, Democrats 95%)
  • Provide tax credits for family caregivers to help offset costs (Republicans 69%, Democrats 90%), and
  • Strengthen age discrimination law (Republicans 53%, Democrats 81%).

The survey also found:

  • 50-plus Georgians’ willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has increased a substantial 14 points—from 41% to 55%—since September, when over half said they would not agree to be vaccinated.
  • Supporting Social Security and Medicare takes precedent over deficit reduction for a majority of all voters (61%) and for a strong majority of 50-plus voters (69%).
  • Two in five 50-plus voters say nursing home safety is “extremely important” this year. It’s especially important to Black voters (53%), people who know someone who died from COVID-19 (51%), those who worry a lot about getting COVID-19 (48%).
  • The majority of 50-plus voters prefer a candidate who focuses on providing financial relief to people and businesses hurt by the economic slowdown over a candidate focused on deficit reduction. The preference is strong for voters 50 to 64 (61% to 33%), while 65-plus voters are more divided (44% to 39%). Women (59%) and Democrats (74%) strongly favor relief, while pluralities of conservatives (45%) and Republicans (48%) prefer to cut spending.

The bipartisan poll surveyed 1,250 2020 Georgia voters, including 857 age 50-plus voters and an oversample of 358 Black voters age 50-plus. Interviews were conducted by landline and cellphone between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, 2020. The margin of error for all 2020 voters is ±3.2%; for all age 50-plus voters, ±3.8%; and for Black voters age 50-plus, ±5.9%.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. George Wilson

    December 17, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Conduct of two Senate candidates show their unfitness for office
    By George Wilson, contributing columnist
    STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. | “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”—Dante Alighieri.
    Well, the ballots have been cast and tabulated in this presidential election. They have found errors, but no fraud, and nothing that comes close to changing the results: Democratic candidate Joe Biden was the winner of the state’s 16 electoral votes.
    That makes all the more unforgivable the conduct of Georgia’s two Republican senators in making reckless charges about the integrity of the vote. Their attempt to undermine the election by asking Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to resign.
    Also, President Trump’s dishonest and anti-democratic machinations should not be forgotten by Georgia voters when they go to the polls in January, or sooner if voting early, for two critical U.S. Senate runoff elections.
    Furthermore, if the Democrats win both, they will narrowly control the Senate, and Joe Biden will be able to pursue ambitious legislation on many fronts, from COVID-19, to climate change, and job creation, on taxes, and many more fronts. If Republicans win either Georgia seat, they will retain Senate control with Mitch McConnell in charge, and Biden will need at least one Republican vote to pass any bill.
    Republicans were almost uniformly unwilling to work with Presidents Bill Clinton or Barack Obama on major legislation, dealing with taxes, the climate, health care, economic stimulus, etc. Obama offered various compromises — like market-based systems to expand health insurance or combat climate change — and still could not win Republican votes.
    Maybe Biden will somehow prove more adept at finding Republican votes than Obama or Clinton. More likely, though, the elections in Georgia will shape Washington for at least the next two years.
    Finally, some of the most important legislation in this country’s history, including Social Security and early civil rights legislation, emerged when one party controlled both Congress and the White House.
    Georgia voters have an opportunity to enable another period of tangible progress. The alternative is to reward two politicians conspiring to groundlessly undermine faith in American dem

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