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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

AARP poll: Florida up for grabs

23

August

AARP today releases a poll of 501 Florida members who may vote in the Democratic primary and 503 in the Republican primary, showing that seven in 10 are following the presidential primary at least somewhat closely. Iraq and financial security are top issues, but large proportions of AARP voters don't know much about the candidates stances on issues like Social Security, saving incentives, or pension protection.

"The race for the White House is up for grabs in Florida, according to this poll," said Jeff Johnson, manager of the Divided We Fail initiative for the Sunshine State.  "This election may turn on whether candidates can connect with Floridians 50+ on real-world issues that deeply affect their lives - having affordable, accessible, quality health care, and getting the tools they need to achieve lifetime financial security."

Asked to rate candidates on how well they have addressed financial security, 35% of Republican AARP members said Rudy Giuliani had "very or somewhat well," 31% said John McCain; 28 said Mitt Romney, 17 percent said Fred Thompson, and 9% Mike Huckabee.  Those who rated "very or somewhat well" in addessing access to health care: 47 % Giuliani; 37% McCain; 35% Romney; 22% Thompson; Huckabee 12%.

Among Democrats rated well on addressing financial security: Hillary Clinton 56%; John Edwards 42%; Barack Obama 38%; Joe Biden 23%; Bill Richardson 18%; Chris Dodd 14%; Dennis Kucinich 10%. On addressing health care: Clinton 76%; Edwards 56%; Obama 49%; Biden 27%; Richardson 23%; Kucinich 15%; Dodd 14%;

The full release:

DIVIDED WE FAIL STATE ISSUE POLL SHOWS FLORIDA AARP MEMBERS LIKELY TO
CHANGE CANDIDATE PREFERENCES AS THEY LEARN MORE ABOUT POSITIONS ON
HEALTH AND FINANCIAL SECURITY

More than 85 percent of potential voters in the Florida primary from
both major political parties say health care and financial security
stances are somewhat or very important to their voting decision

TALLAHASSEE -- AARP is releasing results today of an issue poll in
Florida assessing AARP members' opinions on how well the Presidential
candidates are addressing the issues of health and financial security.
Results show that likely Florida voters feel they don't have enough
information about particular candidates, and are still uncertain where
the candidates stand on the Divided We Fail issues of health care and
financial security.

"The race for the White House is up for grabs in Florida, according to
this poll," said Jeff Johnson, manager of the Divided We Fail initiative
for the Sunshine State.  "This election may turn on whether candidates
can connect with Floridians 50+ on real-world issues that deeply affect
their lives - having affordable, accessible, quality health care, and
getting the tools they need to achieve lifetime financial security."

Surveying 500 AARP members likely to attend the Republican caucuses or
primaries and 500 AARP members likely to attend the Democratic caucuses
or primaries in each of five states - Iowa, South Carolina, Florida,
Nevada, and New Hampshire - the issue poll asks questions on health care
and financial security, issue landscape and the mood of the country.

More than nine in 10 of potential primary voters in Florida (75 percent
of Democrats and 68 percent of Republicans) say that issues related to
financial security such as Social Security, incentives for savings and
investment and pension protection will be somewhat or very important to
their votes. When potential voters were asked which candidate best
addressed financial security issues, 74 percent of Republicans and 73
percent of Democrats said they felt they did not know enough about the
candidates' position to make a judgment.

A large majority of likely Florida primary voters also say health care
will be important in their 2008 voting decision.  Some 97 percent of
Democratic likely primary voters say health care will be very or
somewhat important in deciding how to vote, while 85 percent of Florida
Republican primary voters say health care will be very or somewhat
important in making a voting decision.  Nearly eight in 10 of Republican
voters (78 percent) say they do not know enough about candidate
positions to make a decision. Slightly more than half of likely
Democratic voters say they do not know enough about candidate positions
on health care.

"The issues of health care and lifetime financial security cut across
all lines," Johnson said. "About four out of five voters 50+ in each
party and in each state survey rate health care and financial security
as important factors when deciding who to vote for on 2008.  Voters are
better informed when the candidates discuss solutions to these issues."

Over the next quarter, Divided We Fail will conduct two more polls in
Florida leading up to the Jan. 29, 2008 primary, with the next poll
expected in October.  The polls will enable Divided We Fail to track the
opinions of the AARP members in Florida as debates proceed and
candidates clarify their positions on the issues.

AARP has more than 2.8 million members in Florida.  Based on AARP
research on exit polling data, approximately one in four Floridians who
voted in 2004 was an AARP member.  About half of all Florida voters were
50 +.

The Election Issue Surveys can be found here:
www.dividedwefail.org/polls.

Recently, AARP unveiled Divided We Fail (www.dividedwefail.org), a
national effort designed to engage the American people, elected
officials and the business community to find broad-based, bi-partisan
solutions to the most compelling domestic issues facing the nation -
health care and the long-term financial security of Americans.  The
campaign will encompass traditional grassroots work, advertising in
national outlets and in the primary states, and online activities which
will engage the public, business and elected officials in the debate,
encouraging public leaders to offer solutions.

Divided We Fail and AARP are monitoring the number of health and
financial security questions asked during the Presidential debates. For
more information about Divided We Fail and the debate, log onto the
Divided We Fail debate tracker at www.dividedwefail.org.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps
people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are
beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not
endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either
political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine,
published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda
Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live &
Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website,
http://www.AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that
provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need
with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have
staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:00pm]

    

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