AARP Georgia State Director Debra Tyler-Horton
Social Security, Medicare, nursing home protections are key issues
AARP Georgia has released a new survey showing both U.S. Senate races are statistically tied. Democrat Jon Ossoff (48%) is narrowly leading Republican incumbent David Perdue (46%) while Democrat Raphael Warnock (47%) is 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% of voters are undecided.
Further, the poll found that the majority of Republicans and Democrats age 50 and over are more likely to vote for a candidate advocating for policies that protect older Americans, such as 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 Georgia voters, including 857 age 50-plus 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%.
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. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org.