Likely voters age 50 and over are leaning Republican in New York’s newly redrawn 3rd & 22nd congressional districts, while 80% to 90% said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports protecting Social Security and Medicare from cuts, letting Medicare negotiate lower prescription drug prices, and allowing older Americans to use Medicaid for home care services to avoid nursing homes.
That’s according to surveys commissioned by AARP New York in the new 3rd district centered in Long Island’s Nassau County and the new 22nd district stretching from Syracuse and Onondaga County to Utica and Oneida County.
The 3rd district survey shows voters slightly favoring a generic Republican House candidate (46% to 42%) while the 22nd district survey finds a generic GOP candidate leading by 54% to 36% over a generic Democratic candidate.
The findings indicate candidates should pay close attention to voters 50+ since around 90% of respondents said they are extremely motivated to vote this fall.
Voters 50+ are a crucial voting bloc, consistently showing up to the polls and making a key difference in election outcomes. In the 2018 mid-term elections, the 50+ made up about 60% of the electorate, and they are poised to make up an even larger share of it in 2022 given their strong to motivation to vote.
“Voters 50+ are the most powerful voting bloc, and candidates would be wise to heed their call to protect Social Security and Medicare while taking action to lower our highest-in-the-world prescription drug prices and help our loved ones age at home,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel.
Inflation and rising prices are the top overall concern for likely voters 50+.
Additional Findings from the NY3 & NY22 surveys:
- Respondents are very pessimistic about the direction of the country, with only 16% in NY3 and 14% in NY22 saying the nation is headed in the right direction.
- 37% in NY3 and 32% in NY22 approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing, compared to 51% in NY3 and 56% in NY22 who, in retrospect, say they approve of the job former President Donald Trump did while in office.
- Respondents say Social Security (83%), Medicare (73-78%) and cost of prescription drugs (68-71%) are very important when deciding who to vote for.
- There is significant concern among voters 50+ of all partisan stripes that both Social Security and Medicare will not be there when they need it.
- In NY3, independent voters pick the generic Republican by a 17-point margin, 44% to 27%.
- In NY22, independent voters pick the generic Republican by a 29-point margin, 56% to 27%, while Republicans are significantly more consolidated behind their party’s candidate than Democrats are.
- In NY 22, voters ages 50-64 are more supportive of the generic Republican, but voters 65+ are also supportive of the GOP.
- In NY3, voters ages 50-64 back the generic Republican by 9 points, but voters 65+ give the Democrat a 1-point edge.
Voters 50-64 disapprove of President Biden’s job performance by a 32-point margin in NY3 and by a 41-point margin in NY22, with voters 65+ disapproving by 15 and 25 points, respectively.
- Republicans and independents both rate the economy, inflation, and crime as the three most important issues in NY3, and the economy, inflation and immigration in NY22.
- In addition to economic issues, Democrats prioritize gun control/gun rights issues, abortion and the environment in NY3 and gun control/gun rights issues, abortion, and voting rights in NY22 in making up their mind to vote this November.
- Voters favor Republicans in Congress on crime, inflation, immigration, gas prices, and the economy in general by margins of 20 points or more in NY3 and by 30 points or more in NY22.
- Gas and food are the biggest inflation concerns at 42% and 30% in NY3, and by 47% and 32% in NY22.
AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct the surveys of 321 likely voters 50 and over in each district from July 5-12. Each survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.47%.
AARP recently released a separate survey of likely voters from the 56 most competitive congressional districts around the nation for 2022.
That survey found a generic Republican candidate with 4-point advantage over a generic Democratic candidate, and that voters age 50 and over make up over 60% of likely voters in these districts and will likely play a key role in deciding the outcome of the midterm elections. The districts included in the survey are rated either a “toss-up” or “lean” either Democratic or Republican by the Cook Political Report.
New York’s party primaries for U.S. House seats will be August 23. For more information on how, when and where to vote in New York, visit aarp.org/nyvotes.