Here’s why Arizona’s older voters could tip the scale in the upcoming election

Jun 17, 2024, 9:15 AM

Arizona voters over 50 general election 2024...

President Joe Biden's campaign for reelection is launching pickleball and bingo events to court older voters. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX — Arizona voters over 50 could tip the scale in the presidential and senatorial elections, according to a new survey from AARP.

This voting bloc is more likely than other age groups to vote. Plus, it makes up large shares of Arizona’s population.

“They’re such a reliable bloc of voters,” AARP State Director Dana Kennedy told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News last week. “They turn out in almost every election.”

Additionally, they don’t nail themselves down to a certain political party, Kennedy added. That means politicians must work harder to win them in each election.

“We are seeing a good deal of swing voting in Arizona, meaning voters will say that they will vote for one party in one race and another party in another race,” Kennedy said.

Arizona’s primary election on July 30 is a few weeks away. The general election will take place on Nov. 5.

What were the findings of AARP’s survey of Arizona voters over 50?

AARP recently polled likely Arizona voters about their candidate preferences and top issues. The survey found that former President Donald Trump currently wins out when it comes to older voters.

“Among voters 50-plus, Trump is leading President [Joe] Biden by 10 points: 49 to 39,” Kennedy said.

In an effort to close the gap, the Biden campaign is working hard to up his ranking.

Last weekend, Jill Biden visited Phoenix for an outreach event aimed at older voters. It was one of many events in Biden’s effort to court older voters.

Plus, the campaign held its first Biden Bingo event in swing state Arizona last Thursday. Around two dozen older voters filled out bingo sheets with terms that fit the Biden brand like “malarkey” and “good-paying jobs” before eating food provided by the campaign.

On a local scale, the AARP survey found that 50-plus voters in Arizona prefer Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake over her Democratic rival Ruben Gallego — but just barely.

While Gallego leads Lake 48%-45% among all likely voters, according to the survey, Lake holds a 48%-47% advantage in the 50-plus demographic.

AARP commissioned Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research to conduct the survey. Researchers interviewed 1,358 likely Arizona voters from May 28 to June 4.

What matters most to Arizona voters over 50?

A majority of voters ages 50 and up said they were most concerned about their personal financial situation.

“So, 54% of voters 50 and older cite personal economic issues: inflation, rising prices and the economy and social security,” Kennedy said.

When asked about their opinions on several key issues among older voters, 78% said Social Security was extremely or very important. Medicare was also of high importance at 74%.

Results found that voters felt Trump would handle these issues better.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Here’s why Arizona’s older voters could tip the scale in the upcoming election