Florida Politics partnered with AARP Florida to learn the political priorities of the state’s most reliable voting bloc— those over age 50.
With the March 17 Democratic presidential primary around the corner, pollsters asked the top priority voters have in picking a candidate.
Nearly 98% of Democratic voters age 50 and older list Social Security and Medicare as extremely or very important when picking a candidate. Some 96% say the same about honesty in government. About 95% rank health care high, and 90% offer the same assessment regarding the high cost of prescription drugs.
That’s no surprise to AARP leaders tracking policy in Florida for years.
“We’re making strides to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Florida, but that’s only a portion of the health care picture,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director. “Keeping Social Security and Medicare healthy and viable remain another top priority.”
The poll also found 85% of older residents here worry about the deep divisions in America often or somewhat often. About 75% worry prices in America are growing faster than their incomes, and 71% experience worry over health care costs.
The poll also found Joe Biden leading Bernie Sanders in Florida, with the support of 73.3% of voters. That’s in the neighborhood of support Biden got in a separate St. Pete Polls survey commissioned by Florida Politics.
But Peter Schorsch, Florida Politics publisher, said the results show that for older voters, the issues transcend personalities on the debate stage.
“These latest poll numbers show that while voters are still making up their minds about which candidate to support, they are resolute about the issues that are important to them,” he said.
Johnson said Florida’s AARP voters will apply careful scrutiny to candidates before they vote.
“This election is important to everybody, but we predict women will bring extra scrutiny to the voting booths,” Johnson said.
“They value ethics, trustworthiness and intelligence as important characteristics for their leaders who’ll tackle the important issues of health care and high prescription drug costs.”