AARP/Harris Poll: She’s the Difference: New Hampshire Survey Results

by The Harris Poll, AARP Research | AARP

A new survey in AARP’s She’s the Difference series focuses on the concerns of 50+ women voters in the Granite State. Below are some key takeaways.

On Voting

Women voters ages 50 and older in New Hampshire may turn out in record numbers, and they are not just thinking about themselves when they vote. 

  • Nine in ten (93%) women voters ages 50 and older say they will probably vote in their state’s primary election, including 80 percent who say they will definitely vote.
  • 87 percent of all 50+ women voters in New Hampshire say they think about their children and future generations when they vote.

On Healthcare

Healthcare is the Number 1 issue for older women voters in the Granite State. 

  • Healthcare is by far the most important issue among older women voters in New Hampshire — it was cited as the top issue facing the country by 44 percent of all women voters ages 50 and older in the state, well ahead of the environment (33%), immigration (26%), terrorism (20%), and the economy and jobs (16%).
  • For many older women voters, healthcare costs are both a personal and pocketbook issue.
    • Half (50%) who aren’t confident about retirement say it’s because their healthcare costs are very expensive.
    • A third (33%) say they can’t afford to pay for their healthcare.
    • Nearly a third (30%) say they have skipped medical care because it was too expensive.
  • Only 5 percent of all women voters ages 50 and older say that the healthcare system is working “very well” overall.
  • Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) of all older women voters in New Hampshire give their elected officials a D or F grade on dealing with the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs.
  • Across party lines, women voters ages 50 and older in New Hampshire agree that the  Number 1 reason for rising healthcare costs is drug companies charging too much for medication (52%).

On Other Priority Issues

Addressing the opioid epidemic and student debt are also important for older women voters across the political spectrum in New Hampshire.

Women voters ages 50 and older in the state are fed up with the lack of progress from leadership on these issues and are most likely to give elected officials a D or F grade on addressing the opioid epidemic (67%) and college affordability/student debt (68%).

Older women Democrats in New Hampshire stand out across party lines for their concern over the environment — not only for their own livelihoods, but for the well-being of their family and community. 

  • Democratic women voters ages 50 and older cite the environment and climate change as the top issue facing the country (60%) significantly more often than Independents (28%) and Republicans (5%).
  • 61 percent of Democratic women voters ages 50 and older give elected officials a D or F grade on dealing with the impact of climate change on their communities.

On the Candidates

New Hampshire’s women voters ages 50 and older are looking for ethical and experienced leaders to help solve important issues facing the country. 

  • Among all 50 and older women voters, regardless of party affiliation, the top trait for leaders is ethical (47%) followed by trusted (34%) and intelligent (32%).
  • Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all agree that they would prefer to vote for an experienced candidate (49% among all 50+ women voters) to one that brings a fresh perspective (38%), although Independents are the most evenly split (43% experienced candidate vs. 39% fresh perspective).

Read more at AARP.