AARP Georgia released a new survey of likely Georgia voters showing both U.S. Senate races statistically tied, with Democrat Jon Ossoff (48 percent) narrowly leading Republican incumbent David Perdue (46 percent) and Democrat Raphael Warnock (47 percent) edging Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler (46 percent).

But among voters age 50-plus, the poll shows both the Republican candidates lead their Democratic challenger by identical margins, 53 percent for Perdue and Loeffler versus 42 percent for Ossoff and Warnock.  Just 5 percent are undecided.

Further, the poll found majorities of Republicans and Democrats age 50 and over 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 percent, Democrats 94 percent)
  • Protect Social Security (Republicans 90 percent, Democrats 93 percent)
  • Protect Medicare (Republicans 83 percent, Democrats 96 percent)
  • Increase protections for nursing home residents during COVID-19 (Republicans 79 percent, Democrats 95 percent)
  • Provide tax credits for family caregivers to help offset costs (Republicans 69 percent, Democrats 90 percent), and
  • Strengthen age discrimination law (Republicans 53 percent, Democrats 81 percent).

The survey also found:

  • 50-plus Georgians’ willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has increased a substantial 14 points—from 41 percent to 55 percent—since September, when over half said they would not agree to be vaccinated.
  • Supporting Social Security and Medicare takes precedent over deficit reduction for a majority of all voters (61 percent) and for a strong majority of 50-plus voters (69 percent).
  • Two in five 50-plus voters say nursing home safety is “extremely important” this year. It’s especially important to Black voters (53 percent), people who know someone who died from COVID-19 (51 percent), those who worry a lot about getting COVID-19 (48 percent).
  • 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. The preference is strong for voters 50 to 64 (61 percent to 33 percent), while 65-plus voters are more divided (44 percent to 39 percent). Women (59 percent) and Democrats (74 percent) strongly favor relief, while pluralities of conservatives (45 percent) and Republicans (48 percent) prefer to cut spending.

The bipartisan poll surveyed 1,250 2020 Georgia voters, including 857 age 50-plus voters and an oversample of 358 Black voters age 50-plus. Interviews were conducted by landline and cellphone between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, 2020.

(Courtesy of National Council on Aging)

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