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Senate Candidates in Statistical Tie Among 50-Plus Hoosier Voters in AARP Poll

Posted on 09/19/18 by Jason Tomcsi, AARP Blog Author

According to a recent AARP Poll of older Hoosiers, the race for U.S. Senate in Indiana continues to be a close one.

The poll surveyed 807 voters in Indiana age 50 and older, with 38 percent saying they would vote for Senator Joe Donnelly (D) if the election were held today while 35 percent said they would vote for Mike Braun (R). A large number of older Hoosiers surveyed, 26 percent, are undecided. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

“Both Senator Donnelly and Mr. Braun understand the importance of the 50-plus voter and they were able to hear directly from those voters during our recent tele-town halls,” said AARP Indiana State Director Sarah Waddle. “This poll highlights yet again what was discussed in those forums – Social Security, Medicare, and rising prescription drug costs are critical issues that need to be addressed by whoever is elected in November.”

AARP Indiana recently conducted two separate tele-town halls with both major party candidates for U.S. Senate. Senator Joe Donnelly participated on September 10, and Mike Braun participated on September 12.

The poll and the tele-town halls are part of AARP’s “Be the Difference. Vote” campaign and continues AARP’s long tradition of nonpartisan voter engagement. AARP does not endorse candidates, have a political action committee (PAC), or make contributions to political parties, political campaigns or candidates.

Whether Senator Donnelly is reelected or Mr. Braun is chosen, one will be joining the ranks of a Congress that is viewed unfavorably according to the poll’s respondents.

When asked to rate the performance of elected officials in Washington, D.C., 50 percent of respondents said they approve of the job President Trump is doing while 38 percent disapprove. Congress gets even lower marks among members of both parties. Sixty-five percent of those polled disapprove of congressional Democrats, and 53 percent don’t like the job Republicans in Congress are doing.

The Indiana poll found:

  • 93 percent of voters age 50-plus in Indiana think Medicare is very important for people’s health in retirement.
  • 92 percent agree that Congress should make changes to ensure the program can continue to cover hospital benefits beyond 2029.
  • 82 percent think it is unfair to deny coverage or make those with pre-existing conditions pay more for their health care.
  • 83 percent do not agree with allowing insurance companies to charge older people up to five times more for health insurance.
  • 87 percent think that Social Security is very important for financial security in retirement,
  • 69 percent believe the government should do something to strengthen Social Security immediately.
  • 57 percent of working voters age 50-plus are not confident they are saving enough for retirement.
  • 76 percent feel that candidates’ positions to address rising prescription drug costs are very important.
  • 64 percent think drug companies have a lot of influence over Members of Congress.
  • 83 percent support importation of prescription drugs.
  • 54 percent currently or have previously provided unpaid care for an adult loved one.
  • 86 percent support providing an income tax credit to family caregivers, regardless of whether they are or have been caregivers.
  • 80 percent support requiring employers to provide some paid leave to all employees that can be used for family caregiving purposes.

The poll, conducted by Alan Newman Research, surveyed 807 voters in Indiana age 50 and older between August 17 and 28 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The full survey results can be found here: www.aarp.org/2018StateVoterSurveys

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