In a state where millions depend on Social Security and Medicare benefits, a new poll shows that both issues resonate with a large segment of Florida’s mature voters, who are usually among the most reliable in determining elections.
An AARP-commissioned poll of voters aged 50 and older showed that Social Security and Medicare were the second most important issues in the state after inflation and price hikes. Survey numbers indicate that it can become an important flash point in tighten The race between the current Republican senator. Marco Rubio The Democratic Representative. Val Demings.
Florida, the third largest state in the country, had more than 5.4 million people who received Social Security benefits in 2020. And about 4.9 million They were enrolled in Medicare as of May 2022.
The poll of older voters found that 12% said Social Security and Medicare were their most important issues, trailing 15% who said inflation and price hikes were the most important issues.
while, And 88% of the 50-plus age group identified Social Security as a critical issue when deciding who to vote for. When broken down by party line, 91% of registered Democrats versus 87% of Republicans and 83% of Independents identified it as important or very important.
When asked, 92% of voters said they would be more inclined to support a Senate candidate who opposes cuts to workers’ Social Security benefits. This position is largely true for Democrats, 97%, and extremely high, 90%, among Republicans and Independents.
acting on behalf of AARP Floridabipartisan polling team Fabrizio Ward And the Impact Research He interviewed 1,626 potential Florida voters from August 24 to 31. The sample included 500 potential voters and an oversampling of 550 potential voters 50 years of age or older, 262 Hispanic voters 50 years of age or older, and 314 black voters likely 50 years of age and older.
The error rate for voters aged 50 and over was 3.3 percentage points.
The AARP poll also tracks what it calls “Senate persuasive” voters, or those who have not yet decided who to vote for. They represent 19% of the electorate over the age of 50.
The proportion of undecided Senate voters who identified the fate of Social Security benefits as their top issue (13%) outnumbered their peers (12%). But fewer of those persuasives (91%) reported being more inclined to support a candidate who supported maintaining Social Security.
Nationwide, Social Security provided an additional source of income in 2020 for 69.8 million people (55% of women), according to federal data. The Social Security Administration administers four types of benefits: retired وAnd the inabilityAnd the surviving spouses or childrenAnd the And the sAdditional Security Income or SSI.
The government pays Social Security benefits through payroll taxes, and the program is funded on a fairly real-time basis. Nearly 90% of the $1.1 trillion program costs in 2020 were funded by payroll taxes collected in 2020, According to the federal government.
In the wake of Dobbs vs Women’s Health JacksonAnd the Rubio said he would work with him Senator. Mitt Romney To present what is now called The new parenting law – Legislation to allow Parents must use a portion of their Social Security benefits for up to three months of paid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
While Rubio said so “Make a real difference to American parents and children in need,” and Urban Institute analysis of the plan I found that by the time a person with paid leave retires, the worker has lost somewhere in between $9,200 and $22,100 in retirement benefits (in 2018 inflation-adjusted dollars).
Democrats pounced on the ad, noting that Rubio has a pHe has said repeatedly since 2010 that these programs will bankrupt the United States and has previously suggested raising the retirement age.
The AARP poll showed that while politicians often engage in heated debates about Medicare, support among voters crosses partisan lines.
Ninety-two percent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to stand behind a candidate who opposes cuts in Medicare and instead supports policies to ensure older adults get the health care they need.
When broken down by party, Democrats are more enthusiastic about the issue, with 99% of Democrats say they would be more inclined to support a candidate who protects Medicare from cuts compared to just 89% of Republicans and independents.
At the same time, 91% of survey respondents said they would be more likely or more likely to support candidates who support policies that allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs. The recently passed “Reduce Inflation Act,” which Demings voted in favor and Rubio opposed, would enable Medicare to negotiate prices for some high-priced drugs starting in 2026. The legislation also puts in place next year a cap on the combined costs of Medicare recipients receiving insulin.
Again, when broken down by party, 97% of Democrats said the position to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices is likely to influence whether they support the candidates. This compares with 87% and 89% of Republicans and independents who reported the same.
And while they are policies favored by voters, the family caregiver tax credit and expanded long-term care options have less impact on voters in the Senate race, with only 86% saying they would be more inclined to support candidates because they supported the ideas.