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Voters Age 50-plus Already Playing Key Role in New York State’s 2024 Elections: Report  

Posted on 06/24/24

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EN ESPAÑOL | NEW YORK – Older voters represent the most powerful voting bloc in New York elections, and are likely again to play a pivotal role in tomorrow’s primaries across the state, as suggested by voter turnout for the recent bellwether special election to replace ousted Representative George Santos in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, according to a new AARP New York-commissioned report released today.

The report by Gotham Government Relations shows that voters age 50 and up represented 71.2% of the electorate in the February 13 special election to fill the 3rd Congressional District seat vacated by Republican George Santos, who was expelled following alleged financial violations.

Democrat Tom Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Pilip, 53.9% to 46.1%, to represent the district that includes a large section of Nassau County and a segment of Queens County. The race was more closely watched than what’s typical for local special elections and the outcome moved Democrats within five seats of a majority in the House of Representatives.

“The primaries tomorrow, like all recent elections in New York State, will make clear that older voters decide elections at every level,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “Regardless of their party, political candidates and those holding office cannot underestimate the power of voters 50-plus – a segment of voters that is powerful, educated and looking for support for Social Security, family caregiving, fair drug prices and other fundamental issues when they go to the polls.”

The influence of voters 50-plus in February’s special election in the 3rd Congressional District is likely to be reflected in primaries being held tomorrow across New York State. In the 2022 elections, New Yorkers 50 and older accounted for 63% percent of the electorate – some 3.7 million voters, with more than half of them (1.9 million) being AARP New York members.

In addition to the presidential race, the entire state Legislature is up for election in November, along with all but one member of New York’s congressional delegation (Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is next up for election in 2028).

The Gotham Government Relations study of February’s 3rd Congressional District special election, like those they conducted for other recent elections, revealed several strong trends that are likely to continue. Among them:

  • Voters age 50 and older constituted 71.2% of the electorate, remaining the most influential demographic. Women turned out in marginally higher number than men.
  • Voters 50-plus participated at a significantly higher rate than those younger, whether Democratic, Republican or unaffiliated.
  • Democratic women age 50-plus were the most substantial voting bloc, followed by Republican men 50 and over. Participation of the respective groups underscores their critical role in the outcome.
  • Democratic women 50-plus held a large advantage in registration, which led to higher participation and significant impact on the outcome.

In 2020, a presidential election year, 4.6 million New Yorkers 50-plus cast ballots in elections, accounting for 54% of the electorate. Of that segment, 28% were age 50-64 and 26% were 65-plus.
To read the full report and learn more visit: www.aarp.org/ny.

Connect with AARP New York on X: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

About AARP
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/, www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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