BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — In September, the ND branch of the AARP asked for its members’ opinions on the greatest areas of concern ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. Over 300 members took part in the survey, and after tallying the results, the organization was able to identify some common trends among elderly voters.

The three major topics that were almost universally seen as concerns were the following:

  • Protection from Frauds and Scams — 97% expressed concern
  • Reducing the cost of prescription drugs — 95% expressed concern
  • Protecting public pension benefits — 91% expressed concern

In addition to the top three issues, it was noted that other major issues discussed in the questionnaire include protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits, keeping heating and electricity bills affordable, and allowing those 5 years of age and older to have access to support which helps them live independently in their old age.

A special focus on women voters 50 and over was also noted in the most recent round of reports. On October 4, the AARP released its latest round of the She’s the Difference survey of older women. The four key topics of discussion reported from this study are as follows:

#1: Midterm Elections

  • Half of female voters ages 50 and over have not yet made a decision about how they’ll vote in the midterm congressional elections.
  • The survey reports that voters who have made up their minds are fairly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, though a large number remain undecided.
  • Four in ten voters state they will decide in the last few weeks leading up to the election.

#2: Major Issues

  • Women voters are concerned about a broad range of issues, particularly economic instability and political troubles.
  • The top issues for Democratic women are primarily voting rights and threats to democracy, with gun violence and abortion following close behind.
  • Republican women’s top concerns were noted to be inflation and rising prices, followed by crime, immigration, and election security.
  • Independent women had concerns primarily relating to health care, prescription drugs, inflation, and abortion.

#3: Economic Concerns

  • Women voters are split about the overall state of the economy and how it affects them personally, but many are still fighting back against the rising cost of living in their own ways.
  • Two-thirds of 50+ women voters have reported cutting down on nonessential purchases and four in ten have cut back on essentials or taken money out of their savings.
  • About 1/3 of female voters say they are less financially secure than they expected to be at this point in their lives.

#4: Solutions

  • Despite the difference in opinion, women voters above the age of 50 are more unified in terms of finding economic solutions.
  • roughly 75% of voters say that preventing Social Security cuts would be a significant help, followed by lowering he costs of food, gas, and health care, as well as expanding Medicare to cover dental and vision.

“Those who filled out this questionnaire are reflecting what we’ve heard the past few years from our members and others over 50. That’s why going into the 2023 Legislative session we’re looking forward to making real progress on these issues. Our goal is to work closely with our elected officials to do all we can in North Dakota to ensure those age 50 and older can thrive as they age,” said AARP State Director Josh Askvig in a press release.

Although voting information was provided, the AARP states that it remains distanced from any political party, and more information about the organization’s nonpartisan status can be seen here.

Up-to-date voting information from North Dakota AARP’s services can be found on either of these two pages.