WASHINGTON — AARP released the findings of a post-election survey of voters from the 63 most competitive congressional districts in 2022. The survey findings reveal the concerns and challenges that influenced voters.
In the districts that were also surveyed in July, voters age 65+ shifted from favoring Republican candidates 50% to 40% to favoring Democrats 49% to 46% in November. In this post-election survey, Democrats came away with a two-point lead over Republican candidates among voters overall (18+) and voters age 50-64 leaned Republican by eight points. Overall, voters 50+ accounted for 61% of the electorate in these key districts.
“Americans age 50-plus once again proved that they are the nation’s most powerful voters and they were the deciders in this year’s midterm elections,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “They were crystal clear that they want elected officials to work together to address crucial issues that will ensure their health and financial security. Elected officials and candidates can’t afford to ignore this formidable group of voters and the issues that matter to them.”
Inflation and rising prices (33%) were the top concern for voters overall, followed by abortion (28%) and threats to democracy (25%). The survey showed differences in the issues most important to voters 50-64 vs. those age 65 and older. Inflation and rising prices were top of mind for the 50-64 age group. Among voters 65+, threats to democracy (30%), inflation (29%), and Social Security and Medicare (24%) topped the list.
• More than half of voters (53%) said they were worried about their personal financial situation; 65% of those who voted Republican and 42% who voted Democrat said they were worried.
• About 70% voted more for the candidate they chose, rather than against the other candidate; Independents and younger voters were more likely to say they voted against the other candidate.
• A majority (53%) voted for the candidate they thought would work in a bipartisan manner, while 42% preferred candidates they thought stayed true to their beliefs and stood firm in their positions.
• By 36 points, Democrats preferred candidates who they thought were bipartisan, while Republicans voted by a 25-point margin for candidates they thought would stay true to their beliefs.
AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research to conduct the survey. The firms interviewed 2,353 adults in 63 of the U.S. House districts that Cook Political Report rated as “Lean” or “Toss Up” as of Nov. 7. This included a sample of 1,903 2022 general election voters distributed across the districts and 450 adults who did not vote in the 2022 general election. The margin of sampling error is ±2.02%; for the 1,903-voter sample is ±2.25%; for the 450 non-voter sample is ±4.62%.
Approximately 30 voter interviews were conducted in each congressional district and any non-voters who were encountered were also interviewed. The overall sample was weighted by age, gender, race and education to be representative of the adult population in the 63 congressional districts based on demographic data from the U.S. Census and consumer data. The voter sample was weighted on congressional vote choice to match 2022 election results.