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Poll: Pennsylvanians Over 50 will Play Major Role in November Election

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Friday, June 24, 2022   

There are fewer than five months to go until the November General Election, in which Pennsylvania voters will select a new governor and U.S. Senator.

A new poll commissioned by AARP Pennsylvania showed how residents over 50 are feeling about the candidates and the issues. In the 2018 midterm elections, Pennsylvanians age 50 years and older made up 61% of all voters in the state.

The AARP poll includes views about this year's political races, including the contest for governor, with Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Sen, Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin. Shapiro leads Mastriano by three points.

Bob Ward, partner and pollster at Fabrizio Ward, said for voters over 50, it is an even closer race.

"There's a one-point lead for Shapiro over Mastriano," Ward reported. "And so, 50-plus voters, due to their size but also sort of the competitive nature of where the election is in the governor's race, will be impactful. Candidates need to pay attention to what's important to these voters."

In the Senate race, Democratic Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman has a six percentage-point lead over Republican TV personality Mehmet Oz. And 77% of those polled believe the state is "moving in the wrong direction."

Some 30% of Pennsylvania voters polled said the economy is working well for them. However, one of their biggest concerns, which may influence their votes in November, is rising prices. For Republicans polled, it is their highest priority, while Democrats cite gun safety as their top issue.

Matt Hogan, partner and pollster at Impact Research, said the results also show inflation is still a cross-party worry.

"When we test it on its own and ask them to rate the importance, we certainly see it's a dominant issue with Democrats as well, it just doesn't rise to quite the top when we ask them to pick which is the most important," Hogan explained. "We definitely see a surge in guns [as an important issue] following Uvalde."

Other issues emerging as important to voters include immigration for Republicans, and abortion access and honesty in government for Democrats. The survey, which reached nearly 1,400 likely Pennsylvania voters, was conducted this month via landline, cellphone and text message.

Disclosure: AARP Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

References:  
Poll AARP 06/22/2022

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