Older voters in one of the most competitive House districts in the country have a negative outlook on the New York economy and on the future of two programs they hold near and dear: Social Security and Medicare.
AARP surveyed 404 registered voters age 50 and older in the Republican-leaning 27th Congressional District, where Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg, and Clarence Republican Chris Collins are running.
Hochul won a special election in May 2011 by making the preservation of Medicare a centerpiece of her campaign.
The poll, however, found that more than three out of four voters don’t think they have enough information about the candidates’ positions on health care and retirement security.
“They deserve better than negative campaigns and not a lot of details,” said Bill Ferris, legislative representative with AARP.
Among the poll’s findings:
• Most older voters – 64 percent – think the New York economy is “fairly bad” or “very bad,” while 66 percent are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their financial situation. Three-quarters of voters said their financial situation has been negatively impacted by Washington political gridlock.
• Half of respondents, 52 percent, said they are worried “very often” or “somewhat often” about not having financial security in retirement, and 28 percent are not confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement.
Forty-four percent say they almost never worry about not being able to retire when they want for financial reasons.
• Half of respondents said they worry “very often” or “somewhat often” about having health expenses they cannot afford.
• Only 11 percent of those polled are “very confident” that Social Security will continue for future generations, and only 10 percent are “very confident” Medicare will be there.
• Medicare and Social Security are critical to maintaining the health care and financial security of seniors, according to 97 percent of those polled.
The poll questions did not name Hochul or Collins. Though the district’s voters are 40 percent Republican and 32 percent Democrat, 31 percent of those surveyed were Democrats, and 29 percent were Republicans. However, 39 percent of respondents considered themselves conservative, 36 percent said they were moderate and 19 percent said they were liberal.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 7 to Sept. 18.
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