New AARP Pennsylvania Poll: Black Voters Say Inflation is Most Important to Them in the Race for Governor

Posted on 06/29/22


CONTACT: TJ Thiessen, (202) 374-8033,

New AARP Pennsylvania Poll: Black Voters Say Inflation is Most Important to Them in the Race for Governor

Harrisburg, PA – A new survey from AARP Pennsylvania shows candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate should pay close attention to the concerns of Black Pennsylvanians age 50 and over, with issues such as inflation and rising prices, gun control/gun rights, are of greatest concern to voters.

The survey shows 50-plus Black voters are headed into the 2022 general election supporting Democratic candidates for Governor and Senate, and are worried about key pocketbook issues. Among Black voters 50+, Attorney General Josh Shapiro leads State Senator Doug Mastriano, 78% to 17%. In the race for the U.S. Senate, John Fetterman leads Mehmet Oz, 76% to 16%.   

“Black voters consistently show up to the polls, so it’s important that candidates pay attention to their concerns, as election season heats up,” said Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. “But, their vote is not guaranteed for one party or another. With the price of necessities like groceries, gas and prescription drugs skyrocketing, Black voters in Pennsylvania are worried about these issues and want to see elected officials provide solutions.”  

Among all voters, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) narrowly leads State Senator Doug Mastriano (R), 49% to 46%. John Fetterman (D), the lieutenant governor, leads Mehmet Oz (R), 50% to 44% in the open race for U.S. Senate. Both Democratic candidates hold their narrow leads thanks in part to support from the older Black voters. 

The survey also found that the top of mind issues for 50+ Black voters in the state include: 

  • Gun control/gun rights (23%), voting rights (12%), and inflation and rising costs (11%); of rising costs, 88% say that gas, food, and housing are most concerning;
  • 90% say Social Security is either “Extremely Important” or “Very Important” to them when deciding their vote this November;
  • 92% are more likely to vote for a Senate candidate who supports allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices; and
  • 91% are more likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who supports protecting low-income older Pennsylvanians from property tax increases.

AARP commissioned Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research to conduct this survey. The firms interviewed 1,382 likely Pennsylvania voters, which includes a statewide representative sample of 500 likely voters, with an oversample of up to 550 likely voters age 50 and older, and an oversample of up to 332 African-American/Black likely voters age 50 and older. The survey was conducted between June 12-19 via landline, cellphone, and SMS-to-web. The margin of error for the 500 statewide sample is ±4.4%; for the 855 total sample of voters 50+ it is ±3.3%. View the full survey results.

For more information on how, when and where to vote in Pennsylvania, visit


About AARP 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. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP@AARPenEspanol @AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Pennsylvania. Visit the AARP Pennsylvania page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Harrisburg

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Harrisburg
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner