50+ Voters may tip the scale in Senate Runoffs in Georgia

Atlanta: AARP Georgia has released a new survey of likely Georgia voters showing both U.S. Senate races statistically tied, with Democrat Jon Ossoff (48%) narrowly leading Republican incumbent David Perdue (46%) and Democrat Raphael Warnock (47%) 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% are undecided.

The two runoff elections are in January. After the Nov 3 election, the GOP has 50 seats in the US Senate, so they need to win one of the two runoffs to retain control of the Upper House. Democrats need to win both to gain control with Kamala Harris as Vice President being the tie vote.

The two Democrats are challenging the incumbent Senators.

The AARP poll found majorities of Republicans and Democrats aged 50+ are more likely to vote for a candidate advocating for policies that protect older Americans, like 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 (R 90%, D 93%)
  • Protect Medicare (R 83%, D 96%)
  • Increase protections for nursing home residents during COVID-19 (R 79%, Ds 95%)
  • Provide tax credits for family caregivers to help offset costs (R 69%, D 90%), and
  • Strengthen age discrimination law (R 53%, D 81%).

The survey also found:

  • 50-plus Georgians’ willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has increased 14 points—from 41% to 55%—since September.
  • 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.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. It has a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members.

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