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Survey: 'Reliable, consistent' bloc of women voters 50+ shouldn't be ignored

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Eric Tegethoff

(Oregon News Service) Women ages 50 and over cast a big chunk of ballots, with a big impact in American elections, and a new poll looked at what they want.

Findings in the AARP survey of likely voters done in February and March underscored why they are important, as well as what motivates them.

Stacy Larsen, communications director for AARP Oregon, said they make up more than a quarter of all registered voters, and are 15% more likely to vote than the population at large.

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"This is a voting bloc that turns out in big numbers," Larsen emphasized. "The group of women 50+ are reliable and consistent voters. They cast nearly a third of all ballots in both the 2020 and 2018 elections."

When the survey was taken, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they would not make up their minds on who they were voting for until the weeks or days before Election Day.

The biggest concern for women ages 50 and older right now is the economy. Larsen pointed out nearly half ranked the rising cost of living as the most important issue facing the country.

"And close to three-quarters of them, 72% of this group, are concerned about their income keeping up with those rising costs," Larsen reported. "The majority say that the economy is not working well for them personally and that's a big jump from before the pandemic."

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The second-biggest issue for the bloc of voters is the lack of unity in the country. About two-thirds say they want their elected official to work across the aisle to get things done, even if it involves compromise. Larsen stressed politicians should take note.

"Because women 50+ are likely to turn out in high numbers when other voters may be disengaging, it's critical for our elected officials and candidates for office to pay attention to this group," Larsen contended.